by Joy Dunigan
The 2013 Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series will officially commence its sailing season this coming Friday, April 12th. Gaeta will be the hosting town for the opening edition dedicated to one of the largest boats produced by Melges Performance Sailboats in Zenda, Wisconsin USA.
Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino
Yacht Club Gaeta Egeo Vittorio Simeone at the Base Nautica Flavio Gioia has worked diligently, step-by-step with B-Plan Sport&Events in the planning of this big event, ultimately highlighted by the presence of the International Melges 32 Class.
On Thursday, some of the world's highest level athletes that engage in a variety of different sports will be aboard some of the Melges 32s during its regatta training session.
In the afternoon a Competitors Briefing will take place, while Audi presents The Sport, The Sailing and the On Top of the World with extreme mountain climber Daniele Nardi as speaker.
The three-day regatta will feature a fleet composed of sixteen Melges 32s. A significant number that by virtue, six nations are represented giving the event true international appeal.
There is a high level of curiosity among all enthusiasts and sailing personnel to discover the new balances in the 2013 fleet.
In addition to the long-standing teams, ready to kick off the season with unchanged members, there are boats that during the winter have engaged in more than one key leader roles and then there are others that are completely new, that had a glorious past in other classes.
Unless there are some surprises, the leading role will be played by reigning Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series Champion Vincenzo Onorato, owner of the famous Mascalzone Latino. Onorato is joined by a well-trained and very experienced team, most especially the great talent of Gabriele Benussi.
Andrea Pozzi, Bombarda - Melges 32 World Championship 2012 Day 3
Andrea Pozzi aboard Bombarda with Lorenzo Bressani as tactician, commenced 2013 with a great victory in Key West, Florida at Key West Race Week. Lanfranco Cirillo's Fantastica with Michele Paoletti on tactics, and Edoardo Lupi on Torpyone with tactician Branko Brcin are two of the most enduring teams over the last regatta seasons.
One of the most highly favored teams is Mauro Mocchegiani on his Audi Rush Diletta Melges 32. Together, with Riccardo Simoneschi, Massimo Gherarducci, Enrico Fonda and Vittorio Rosso as crew, this will be a team to watch.
Other teams that have first place as a main objective is Roberto Tomasini Grinover on Robertissima, fresh off of a hot win in Virgin Gorda at the 2013 OtterBox® Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series, and Marc de Antonio aboard Bribon Movistar with Gustavo Martinez Doreste proudly represents Spain.
Other teams that deserve high recognition are Filippo Pacinotti's Brontolo, Carlo Alberini's Calvi Network and Edoardo Pavesio's Fra Martina as they have gained much experience from competing in the Melges 32 Class for many years.
As the International fleet builds in excitement for the 2013 World Championship scheduled for late September in Porto Rotondo, Italy, an influx of teams from all across the planet commence racing at this event. The one and only lady helm in the class and former Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year nominee Deneen Demourkas on Groovederci will have a go at the competition, New Englander Malcolm Gefter will race his heart out on Celeritas, and Naofumi Kamei from Japan on Mamma Aiuto! returns to the heated European arena.
The International Class is thrilled to welcome Andrea Massi aboard ULIKA as this event's fleet newcomer.
The first warning will take place on Friday, April 12 at 10.30 weather permitting. Racing will continue thru Sunday in which 14.30 will be the latest start time. A maximum of eight races will be held with a discard after six completed races.
Gaeta is the first of five stages in the 2013 Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series. The remaining events will be held in Porto Ercole (Event No. 2 on 10-12 May), Portoferraio (Event No. 3 on 31 May-2 June), and Torbole (Event No. 4 on 12-14 July). The final event will be the 2013 Melges 32 World Championship on 16-22 September in Porto Rotondo, Italy.
Full Entry List:
1.) Mauro Mocchegiani/Enrico Fonda, Audi Rush Diletta
2.) Andrea Pozzi/Lorenzo Bressani, Bombarda
3.) Marc de Antonio Altimira/Gustavo Martinez Doreste, Bribon Movistar
4.) Filippo Pacinotti/Nathan Wilmot, Brontolo
5.) Carlo Alberini/Flavio Favini, Calvi Network
6.) Malcolm Gefter/Sam Rogers, Celeritas
7.) Lanfranco Cirillo/Michele Paoletti, Fantastica
8.) Edoardo Pavesio/Chris Rust, Fra Martina
9.) Deneen Demourkas/Mark Mendelblatt, Groovederci
10.) Naofumi Kamei/Manuel Weiller, Mamma Aiuto!
11.) Vincenzo Onorato/Gabriele Benussi, Mascalzone Latino
12.) Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima
13.) Andrea Ferrari/Carlo Fracassoli, Spirit of Nerina
14.) Valetin Zavadinkov/Tommaso Chieffi, Team Synergy
15.) Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, Torpyone
16.) Andrea Massi/Francesco Cruciani, ULIKA
View Full Crew List
Melges 32 website