MELGES 24 – On two race courses, one in front of Torbole and one further south, located just north of Limone, the Melges 24 World Championship came under starters orders with the evergreen Melges 24s divided into four groups, identified by four colors.
More than 125 crews, from 22 nations, were in the water waiting for the much-anticipated start. During the first two races on the north course the orange group sailed against the blue group, while on the south the challenge was between the white and black groups.
At the conclusion of racing, Italy’s Andrea Racchelli sailing Altea, with a second and a sixth, claims the top of the ranking while many of the favorites going into the day are trailing down in double digit position.
Conditions were extremely tough for all with many general recalls. Having been out of the Melges 24 fleet for some time Germany’s Markus Wieser on AEZ, along with tactician Pascal Rambeau, proved that he certainly hasn’t lost his touch in the class and thanks to a first and an eighth, is now lying second in the overall ranking by just one point. Outsider Tommaso del Rio’s Maitech, put in two excellent performances of second and eighth to finish the day in third overall four points behind the leader. A most impressive achievement. Japan’s Kan Yamamada, sailing Kanta-Ro Racing, is on equal points with Del Rio and lies fourth on countback. The top ten is completed by Norway’s Kristoffer Spone, International Class Chairman Riccardo Simoneschi, Bora Gulari from the USA, Estonia’s Peter Saraskin and a pair of Italiens, Carlo Fracassoli and Lorenzo Gemini.
Lorenzo Gemini’s Sardinian team aboard SIV Arborea also hold the overall lead in the Corinthian ranking, just one point ahead of Marco Cavallini sailing Jeco Team with a family crew that includes Marco’s father Gianni and brother Paolo, who lie fourteenth in the overall standings. Third Corinthian place is currently in the hands of Finland’s Matias Sappovaara aboard Marquis de Conquistador, followed by Italy’s Alessio Marinelli on Pensavo Peggio.
Tomorrow at least two more races are planned with race courses and groups reversed. Weather permitting the qualification series will conclude on Wednesday and with the introduction of the discard the fleet will be divided in Gold and Silver fleets.
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.
Organised by Circolo Vela Torbole in collaboration with the International Melges 24 Class Association, the 2012 Melges 24 World Championship will count a maximum of twelve races, with up to three daily races. Five races are required to made the event valid, although the famous weather conditions, typical of the northern Garda, should make this rule unnecessary. MORE STORY