Video courtesy International Melges 24 Class Association.
San Francisco – Condizioni di vento instabile hanno imposto un rallentamento al programma dello Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship, evento in corso di svolgimento nella baia di San Francisco. Debole in apertura e chiusura di giornata, la brezza ha soffiato con impeto (18-20 nodi) solo nelle ore centrali del pomeriggio: nonostante gli sforzi profusi, il Comitato di Regata non è riuscito a completare le tre prove previste e la flotta è tornata in banchina con due nuovi parziali che, sommati ai tre archiviati mercoledì, hanno portato a cinque il totale dei risultati validi.
Poco male per Audi Ultra (8-7) che, in virtù di un ottavo e un settimo, ha recuperato terreno in classifica generale, muovendo dal quindicesimo al decimo posto. Passi avanti resi ancor più importanti dalla sensibile riduzione del gap che separa l’equipaggio dell’Audi Italia Sailing Team dalla testa della graduatoria, lontana diciassette punti e guidata dai campioni europei di Blu Moon (1-8) con un punto di margine su West Marine Rigging (2-1) di Bora Gulari e due sulla coppia composta da Rose Bud di Terry Hutchinson (5-2) e Full Throttle di Brian Porter (3-6). Il leader della prima ora Mikey (13-35) di Jeff Madrigali è invece scivolato in tredicesima posizione.
Come spiega il leader dell’Audi Italia Sailing Team, Riccardo Simoneschi, a premiare Audi Ultra sono stati i notevoli spunti prestazionali forniti dalla barca alle portanti: “Di poppa camminiamo davvero tanto, e questa è la nota positiva. Purtroppo non si può dire altrettanto della bolina, dove non riusciamo ad emergere dalla flotta nonostante il buon posizionamento conquistato sulla linea. Crediamo di aver capito il perché di questa disparità: il timone sembra essere inclinato leggermente avanti, è come se fosse compensato. E’ un problema ostico da risolvere: ci stiamo lavorando da alcune ore e speriamo di poter sistemare le cose per a giornata di domani“.
Le regate valide per lo Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship riprenderanno nel corso della notte italiana. Ricordiamo che il campionato, la cui conclusione è fissata per sabato, si articolerà su un massimo di dieci prove. Uno scarto sarà conteggiato dopo la conclusione della sesta regata.
Per consultare i risultati clicca qui.
SPERRY TOP-SIDER MELGES 24 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, BLU MOON MOVES ON TOP
San Francisco – Light winds at the beginning and end of the second day of the Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship 2013 meant only two races of the scheduled three took place. Happily, after around an hour’s delay, the breeze came on strong and racing took place in breezes up to 20 knots.
2013 Melges 24 European Champion, Italy’s Flavio Favini at the helm of Franco Rossini’s Swiss entry Blu Moon, revelled in the fresher conditions to win the fourth race of the scheduled 10 race series by a considerable margin. Second was American Bora Gulari on West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes. Another American, Brian Porter on Full Throttle took third.
Race five of the series was sailed in fractionally lighter and more patchy winds and saw Gulari go one better than in previous race, grabbing the lead on the first downwind leg and easing away to take a comfortable win. Gulari’s countryman Terry Hutchinson at the helm of Scott Holmgren’s Rose Bud took second and Denmark’s Kim Christensen on Soffe 2 third.
Although the race committee tried to start a third race, a massive right hand shift in the final minute before the start saw that attempt called off and with the wind rapidly fading and becoming increasingly unstable, soon after they wisely sent the fleet ashore for the day.
An eighth in the second race was good enough to elevate Favini to the overall lead at the end of the second day. Gulari’s boat-of -the-day 2,1, performance sees him move into second place tonight, one point behind Favini and one point ahead of Hutchinson whose 5,2 score today puts him in third overall.
In the Corinthian Division (no professional sailors allowed) American Don Jesberg on Viva clocked up a 5,1, score to move into the Corinthian lead six points ahead of fellow US sailor Loren Colohan on Lounge Act in second. Two points behind in third is Australian Kevin Nixon on Accru.
Competitors and the race committee were greeted by light and fickle breezes when they assembled at the Berkley Circle race area on San Francisco Bay this morning. An hour’s delay ensued before the regular San Francisco Bay southwesterly wind began to establish itself. When it came, it came solidly, building quickly to around 14 knots by the start and increasing to 18 – 20 knots during the race.
It took two general recalls and an I and Z flag combination to get the over-eager fleet away at the the third attempt in the first race of the day. In the process, several boats incurred 20 per cent penalties to be added to their overall scores.
Italy’s Flavio Favini at the helm of Franco Rossini’s Swiss entry Blu Moon put on an impressive performance in the breezy conditions, leading around the first mark and then making a big jump on the first fast downwind leg. Favini’s crew never put a foot wrong after that and at the finish they had pulled out a 90 second advantage over second placed American helmsman Bora Gulari on West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes. Another American, Brian Porter on Full Throttle was also clearly enjoying the ramp up in wind strength and turned in a rock solid performance to take third.
The second race saw the wind drop a little for the start but remain variable in strength across the course throughout. This time just one general recall was required before the fleet got away cleanly.
This time it was Gulari who made the best of the tricky conditions. After overhauling early leader Tetsuya Matsunaga from Japan on ThreeBond on the first run he sailed a canny race to hold his lead to the finish and chalk up his first race win of the championship.
American Terry Hutchinson at the helm of Scott Holmgren’s Rose Bud also got past Matsunaga and chased Gulari hard for the lead throughout, but in the end he had to settle for second. Kim Christensen from Denmark on Soffe 2 moved up from sixth at the first windward mark to take third at the finish.
A valiant attempt by the race committee to start a third race of the day was quickly thwarted by a significant windshift in the final minute and with the breeze then becoming increasingly erratic, they wisely decided to send the fleet home for the day.
In the Corinthian Division (no professional sailors allowed) a fifth and a first for American Don Jesberg on Viva moves him six points ahead of fellow US sailor Loren Colohan on Lounge Act who could only manage a seventh and fifth today and now sits in second. Two points behind in third is Australian Kevin Nixon on Accru whose first and third makes him the Corinthian boat-of-the-day.
Five races into the potentially 10-race series just eight points separate the top five places in the main fleet. Favini’s 1,8, score today moves him into the lead by a single point from Gulari in second. Hutchinson is a further point behind in third, tied on points with Porter, whose sixth place comeback from a deep windward mark rounding in the second race leaves him in fourth tonight. in fifth, another six points back, is Christensen.
With such compression at the top of the leaderboard and two more days of racing still to go, the 2013 edition of the Melges 24 World Championship looks likely to remain too close to call right to the very end.
Three more races in the Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship 2013 are scheduled for tomorrow, Friday October 4. The scheduled 10 race championship series concludes on Saturday October 5.
To read the results click here.