The third day of racing on beautiful Lake Garda produced premium conditions and spectacular competition at the 2014 Audi Melges 20 World Championship once more. Three additional races were completed with second place overall Achille Onorato's Mascalzone Latino Jr. closing the gap on regatta leader, American John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti ahead by five points.
2014 Audi Melges 20 World Championship, Day 3
Going into today's races, Kilroy proudly owned an impressive 14-point lead. Between Onorato and third place overall Guido Miani's Monaco Racing Fleet, the points-spread was reduced substantially as each won a race today, holding Kilroy at bay.
After last night's very exquisite Championship dinner, teams were happy about the 1 o'clock start. Race seven got started with Miani taking immediate control rounding the top mark in first. With each run and beat, Miani extended for the win with the Czech Republic's Jan Kuchar on Aloha racing strong to finish second, followed by Mirko Bargolini's Spirit of Nerina in third - his best finish yet in the Audi Melges 20 Class.
With an awesome 13-15 knots of breeze, Onorato had a great start in Race Eight to lead at the top mark. The fight was on between Onorato and Vladimir Lipavsky's Ost Legal downwind, followed by Matteo Marenghi Vaselli's Lucifer, Marco Gambarella's Chimera, Kirill Podolsky's AnywayAnyday and Russ Lucas on Shimmer. The first run presented the opportunity for several teams to make great advances, and most especially Lucas. He was sixth at the top mark, and fourth at the gate. Lucas raced hard gaining another position upwind for the final run to be in third. Onorato won, Lipavsky held on to second while Lucas held off Vaselli to take third. Lauro Bonaro's Camay had a fantastic race for fourth. John Brown's Blind Squirrel - one of seven teams competing for the Corinthian World Champion title had an awesome race to round out the top five.
It was at this point, Onorato had reduced the point spread between Kilroy and himself to two points. For Kilroy, a 14-12 result in Race Seven and Eight meant he needed to nail Race Nine to protect and continue his overall lead.
Kilroy launched off the line in Race Nine for a nice lead around the track, but it wasn't until the first run that he slowly but surely pulled away from the fleet. Naofumi Kamei's Mamma Aiuto! challenged Kilroy, but Miani and Onorato came on strong looking to move up in the ranks. On the last run, after Kilroy had crossed the line to win, it was a photo finish between Kamei and Miani. Miani jibed over right at the finish line in an attempt to get second, but Kamei just barely got across only a moment before. Onorato finished fourth and reigning World Champion John Taylor on Ninkasi rounded out the top five.
One last final World Championship race is left. An early 9 a.m. start is scheduled.
Top 10 Results (Preliminary - After Nine Races, One Discard)
1.) John Kilroy/Paul Goodison, Samba Pa Ti; 13-4-4-2-1-2--12-1 = 39
2.) Achille Onorate/Malcolm Page, Mascalzone Latino, Jr.; -9-3-4-8-9-6-1-4 = 44
3.) Guido Miani/Gabriele Benussi, Monaco Racing Fleet; 27-5-17-1-3-1-1--3 = 58
4.) Dario Levi/Niccolo Bianchi, Fremito D'Arja; 6-17-8-3-4-6-21-15- = 80
5.) Russ Lucas/Harry Melges III, Shimmer; 5-6-16-12-17-15--3-11 = 85
6.) Naofumi Kamei/Manu Weiller, Mamma Aiuto!; 17-21--13-11-5-13-8-2 = 90
7.) John Taylor/Bill Hardesty, Ninkasi; 8-8--35-10-10-4-20-5 = 100
8.) Paul Reilly/Andy Burdick, Red Sky Sailing Team; 12-22--9-5-8-8-14-24 = 102
9.) Alessandro Rombelli/Daniele Cassinari, STIG; 11-1-2-23-9--10-41-14 = 111
10.) We Whitmyer/Max Fraser, Slingshot; -24-9-14-12-13-16-18-7 = 113
Click here for full results