Helsinki – Helsinki woke up with heavy rain this morning and the Melges 24 fleet, moored at Helsingfors Segelklubb, had to wait two hours for the wind to stabilize, the AP flag to go down and to start the races of day three in the 2017 Melges 24 World Championship.
Two races have been sailed today, with lighter wind conditions than those experienced yesterday when after the sixth race the discard came into play. First victory of the day went to the Italian entry Altea ITA722 (1-18 today) by Andrea Racchelli, followed on the finish line by Norvegian Baghdad II NOR400 (2-24) with Kristoffer Spone in helm. Third were the current leaders of the provisional ranking aboard Luca Perego’s Maidollis ITA854 (3-20).
“It has been a bizarre day for us: we sailed well in the first race, we took the right tactical choices. On board, everything worked well even in the second race but we chose the right side of the race course and the huge wind shift deeply penalized us. It’s good to be in the top three now, but we are so close to our followers, we will have to benefit at the best from the heavy wind forecasted for the next days, which we deeply like, to try to remain on a podium position” declared the helmsman of Altea, Andrea Racchelli, also President of the Melges 24 Italian Class, who will be in charge, together with International Melges 24 Class Association, of the organization of the next Melges 24 Europeans, scheduled for August 3-10, 2018 in Riva del Garda.
The second race of the day, number seven of the series, is the one that brings more surprises in the ranking: a big wind shift to the left in the first upwind leg penalizes the group that was racing on the right side of the race course: in these group, there was a great portion of crews currently occupying top-ranking positions. The victory goes to John Brown’s Blind Squirrel USA547 (9-1) that, with this result, scores the first bullet of the series, followed by Slam & Blow NOR787 (30-2) with Peder Nergaard in helm and American entry Mikey USA838 (19-3) by Kevin Welch.
Marco Zammarchi’s Taki 4 ITA778 (7-20) with Niccolo Bertola in helm maintains the leadership of the Corinthian division, where the bullets of today were both scored by Luis Tarabochia’s White Room GER677 (1-1), that now follows the reigning World Champions in the Corinthian ranking with a margin of 11 points. Third place is occupied by Estonian entry Lenny EST790 (2-21) with past Olympians Tõniste twins aboard, just one point behind White Room.
Tomorrow, penultimate day of racing in Helsinki, sun and heavy breeze are forecasted: first warning signal is scheduled for 11.00 and the Race Committee will have the possibility to launch up to three races.