Riva del Garda – Melges 24 fleet comes back to the Wind Factory, where on Friday the second event of 2017 Melges 24 European Sailing Series, also valid as Melges 24 Italian Tour and Italian Open Nationals is going to begin and to be held over the weekend of May 19-21.
After the success of the first event of the season, held in Portoroz from April 21st to 23rd, a copious international fleet will race in the clear waters of Garda Lake: forty one entries, in representation of thirteen nations, will be hosted by Fraglia della Vela Riva in association with the Italian Melges 24 Class Association and International Melges 24 Class Association in the upcoming weekend, that shows all the prerequisites for some exciting sailing.
In this highly competitive fleet there will be many familiar and well known faces that marked the history of Melges 24 Class: the winner of the event of Portoroz and current holder of the 2016 Melges 24 European Sailing Series title, Andrea Racchelli, will be present aboard Claudio Ceradini’s Altea (ITA722), while Carlo Fracassoli, World Champion in 2012 and World’ second 2016, will be at the helm of Gianluca Perego’s Maidollis (ITA854).
Strong competition is expected also in the Corinthian division, where the winners of the recent Miami Melges 24 World Championship will be racing, on board of the Italian entry, Marco Zammarchi’s Taki 4 (ITA778), helmed by Niccolò Bertola. The Olympian sailor and Melges 24 Corinthian World Champion Tõnu Tõniste on Lenny (EST790) won’t be missing, either.
From U.S. Melges 24 fleet two teams – Bruce Ayres’ Monsoon USA851 and Travis Weisleder’s Lucky Dog / Gill Race Team USA848 are in Europe, both from the Top Ten of the 2016 Worlds (4th and 9th respectiely), and will learn the European fleet to be well prepared for the 2017 Melges 24 main title event in Helsinki, Finland.
Andrea Racchelli, the President of the Melges 24 Italian Class is happy to welcome Melges 24 fleet in Riva del Garda. “From the very beginning of Melges 24 life we strongly believed that the northern part of Lake Garda was the ideal area for our awesome boat. The history has proved we were right. More than 40 boats entered the regatta in Riva del Garda where Fraglia della Vela Yacht Club, which has been hosting this prestigious regatta for several years, is ready to arrange another great event for Melges 24 sailors. This is not only a spot event, but the start of a long run which will take the Melges 24 movement to a new renaissance in this part of Europe. New structures, events and technical supports will bring everyone to have a great time enjoying our warm country and good sailing, focusing on the next top event, the European Championship in Riva del Garda in August 2018.”
There will be one more official preparation event as part of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series – Swedish and Nordic Championship in Marstrand – after Riva del Garda and before the World Championship. The Worlds 2017 will be this year hosted in Europe, in the Nordic Waters of Helsinki: more than 70 boats are expected in that occasion, and some of them have decided to join already the European fleet, also from overseas, to be in top shape for the most important event of the season.
First warning signal for the second event of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series 2017 is scheduled for Friday, May 19th, at 12.00. A maximum of nine races – three per day – will be sailed and a discard will be computed after race number five.