Malcesine – Andrea Pozzi, owner of Bombarda Racing, returned to the Melges 24 Class after more than two years: the crew already left his mark with performances that went far beyond Pozzi’s own expectations. They won Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta, returned from the Miami winter series and in Malcesine and stepped on the podium of the second act of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series in third position. On that occasion, Andrea Pozzi said that …
Q: Andrea, for Bombarda Racing it’s again time for Melges 24: how was it to return to the Class?
A: I found a Class with a rather high technical level, both in the USA and in Europe: in both race courses, I had the chance to compete with many World and Continental champions, as well as with crews that, in these years, have marked the history of the Class.
However, it seems clear, today more than ever, that the Melges 24 Class counts on a “double soul”. This is probably his strong point and the factor that, at twenty years and more from the launch of the boat, keeps the Class so alive.
It is exciting to get in the water against almost fifty crews in each event, but the game would be much fairer and more enjoyable for everyone if the Melges 24 International Class, where possible, would have an independent legislation to assess the possible and appropriate inclusion of some athletes in the Corinthian division, theoretically reserved for non-professional sailors: in fact, as for today, the World Sailing interviews that determine a sailor’s classification, even if punctual in time, show little practical use.
It is not new to anyone that the current modus operandi of World Sailing, the highest institution of sailing, allows Olympic medalists, athletes of the armed forces, professional sailors over 60 years of age, etc., to compete in a category theoretically reserved to a parterre of amateurs.
Q: You certainly don’t talk for your interest, since with Bombarda you compete in the overall ranking.
A: I love the Melges 24 and I believe that with some adjustments, and using a certain far-sightedness, the Class can treat itself to an even more solid future. More simply, there is the potential to ensure that even among the Corinthians, the budget does not determine the balance of power: those who have been visiting this world for at least a couple of seasons have a clear idea of who the real amateurs are and who the professionals are and just using the diligence of a good family father would make every regatta really competitive for each of the two fleets joining the race.
Q: Going back to the current season, we have to say Bombarda had a great start…
A: Although our approach to the season has been planned in detail, I did not expect to be so competitive since the first races: great credit to this must be given to my crew who worked with great professionalism and passion. I found Bombarda Racing as I had left it about three years ago: a perfectly oiled and efficient machine, that allowed me to concentrate only on helming. When things work this way, everything becomes easier.
Q: You don’t change a winning team, it’s appropriate to say, and don’t even change the ‘engine’, which in your case is always North Sails …
A: North Sails is one of my team’s added values: thanks to Giulio Desiderato, who besides being our coach is the Class leader for North, we are followed step by step and the experience is absolutely satisfying. As a shipowner it fascinates and reassures to see how the company continues to develop its products punctually despite the twenty years and beyond of seniority in the class. Also in this case the same argument made for the team is applicable: surrounded by the attention of the North Sails work group I know that every eventuality will be faced with the maximum professionalism: so, give me the stick that I only think to steer.