Riva del Garda – There are 28 Melges 24 teams gathered at the Fraglia Vela Riva waiting for the first warning signal of the fourth event of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series, also the Act 3 of the Italian Melges 24 Tour. Present on behalf of 11 countries, the crews will cross the bows from Friday July 22nd to Sunday July 24th on a maximum of nine races to grab important points valid for the ranking list, currently led by Gilles (ITA). The boat of Marcello Caldonazzo Arvedi, helmed by the Italian sailing rockstar Pietro D’Alì, right after the mid-season milestone, is well ahead of his opponents: actually, with a total of 79 points, looks with some tranquillity on HUN-759, second in the overall ranking which, with its 101 points is in command of the Corinthian division.
The Akos Csolto team Seven Five Nine, winner of the Trieste event, right in Riva del Garda will introduce an important novelty, as stated by the owner: “We were really looking forward to this season because our secret plan was to upgrade our boat with a new one. We sold our old boat one day after Trieste, which made the farewell very special due to the success. After that, we were able to go for our new boat, the 850 called Chinook named after a wind of the Rocky Mountains and a native American tribe to reflect its origin, which we have been showing off and learning since. Now we are really looking forward to Riva, it’s our favourite place, so we’ll get in the car on Wednesday morning, and we’ll launch the boat late in the afternoon as planned. As we’re looking at the forecasts, hopefully we’ll be able to sail nine races in sparkling sunshine and smoking winds. It seems we’ll have a dream weather and a dream weekend there. We know that it will be more difficult for us than it was in Trieste, but we really want to finish at the top of the rankings and be on the podium in Corinthian division as well.”
If for the moment Gilles‘ advantage seems to be important, the same cannot be said for the tense fight in second and third place: actually, Paolo Brescia’sMelgina (ITA), overall winner of the 2021 Melges 24 European Sailing Series, is just eight points behind the Hungarians and well determined to undermine the second place, starting right from the Riva del Garda event. The game will also include two teams that, given the events sailed overseas, in the course of 2022 had not yet seen in the European basin: Andrea Racchelli’s Altea (ITA), former World Champion and reigning European Champion of the International Melges 24 Class Association and one of the most experienced owner of the class; and Peter Karrie’s Nefeli (GER), the best European boat at the recent Melges 24 Worlds in Fort Lauderdale, which will count on the experience of tactician Niccolò Bianchi, who only a few days ago, on the same race course, was the winner of another important one design event.
To complete the top five of the overall ranking there are two Corinthian crews: Miles Quinton’sGill Race Team (GBR) is fourth, twenty-six points away from Melgina and just four points in front of Arkanoé by Montura (ITA), the boat owned and helmed by Sergio Caramel. It is interesting to underline how the Lake Garda has also fascinated crews for which the presence in Italy is not one of the easiest things: on the northern side of Benaco the Melges 24 family will welcome again the Americans of War Canoe, the team led by Michael Goldfarb; and the Australians on boat called +GST, led by Stephen Girdis. Michael Goldfarb said that their team on War Canoe is always excited to come to Garda where the conditions are amazing and the racing is the best. „We are very much looking forward to the next few days and being with the class. It’s always exciting to match up with our friends in Europe. Our plan is to sail this event and then return to Italy for the Europeans in October!“
Andrea Camin, the President of Fraglia Vela Riva, awarded by World Sailing with the President Development Award, first time ever for an Italian club or representative: “Fraglia Vela Riva has a long therm relation with the International Melges 24 Class Association. We hosted many competitive events of this iconic one-design class, such has the 2018 European Championship, enjoying the family spirit of the members and the great sportsmanship among the marks. We are glad to welcome the International Melges 24 Class Association again and we are looking forward for another great event in the water of Riva del Garda: owners and sailors well know the way to have fun on the Garda Trentino and our team and volunteers are ready to go.”
As mentioned, in Riva del Garda the Melges 24 fleet will sail between Friday and Sunday and is expecting some sparkling weather conditions: the high temperatures of the last few days, and those expected for the days to come, let us presage the presence of a particularly strong Ora, the typical sea breeze of the afternoons on the Garda Lake.