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Melges 24 European Championship - Teams set for tricky opening day

by Fiona Brown on 18 Aug 2013
Training Day RYC Hollandia Medemblik - Magic Marine Melges 24 European Championship 2013 © Pierrick Contin http://www.pierrickcontin.fr/
In only a few more hours, the Magic Marine Melges 24 European Championship 2013 will record its first results in the archives. After a few days spent in training, tuning and measurement controls, the seventy teams registered for the event, hosted by the Royal Yacht Club Hollandia, Medemblik, Netherlands, are now ready for what promises to be a tricky opening day.

The first races of the continental championship, scheduled from 11am tomorrow morning, should be raced in a strong south-westerly wind, that will decrease during the afternoon. Conditions that will highlight the gap between crews, rewarding those who are better prepared for this highly competitive championship.

Among these should be mentioned the Italian Champions of Giogi, led by Matteo Balestrero and former Melges 24 World Champion Nicola Celon, the crew of Audi Sailing Team Italy that, aboard Audi Ultra, is the undisputed leader of the 2013 Melges 24 European Sailing Series, and the Swiss-Italian Blu Moon, led by Flavio Favini and Gabriele Benussi. Also there is the always competitive Altea owned by Andrea Racchelli, and the three times Corinthian World Champions Storm Capital Sail Racing, who now sail in the open division only.

Talking about the Corinthian class the favourite and reigning champion Lenny, helmed by Finnish Olympic Silver and Bronze Medallist Tonu Toniste, could find some strong opponents in Zuxu helmed by Peter Saraskin, Rock City helmed by Tiit Vihul and Melges.dk helmed by Kris Houmann.

All the crews took advantage of the fresh wind that has characterised the past few days to become familiar with the race area, on which was formed many of the great talents of Dutch Olympic sailing who claimed three medals in London 2012. The Ijsselmeer, a unique 'sea lake', is sheltered from the prevailing winds coming from the south west quadrant, but is often subject to steep and short choppy waves generated by the shallow waters of the area.

While waiting for the first results, the crews are preparing to attend to the first official social appointment of the Magic Marine Melges 24 European Championship: the Opening Ceremony to be held at the Radboud Castle of Medemblik starting from 6.30pm.

The program of the event fixes the maximum number of race at twelve to complete the series. The event will last until august 22nd. A discard will be granted after the conclusion of the sixth race.








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