by Fiona Brown
Following two days of strong wind and breathtaking surfing, the protagonists of the Magic Marine Melges 24 European Championship have had to deal with conditions less spectacular and fun but very complicated from a tactical point of view. As predicted by the forecasts, the third day of the event, organized by Royal Yacht Club Hollandia in collaboration with the International Melges 24 Class Association, offered a weak and unstable wind. Conditions reflected in three races that suffered from the continuous and sudden fluctuations of the breeze.
Magic Marine Melges 24 European Championship 2013
It was extremely difficult to interpret the Medemblik race course which dispensed both joys and sorrows, offering moments of celebrity to medium-low ranking crews and putting in serious trouble the top teams, who sometimes found it impossible to recover lost ground.
This is not the case for Blue Moon (1-15-2), who took advantage of the situation to take important steps towards winning the continental title. After leaving the dock on equal points with the Italian Champions of Giogi (21/02/14), the crew of the former World and European Champion Flavio Favini has logged in with a margin of fifteen points over Matteo Balestrero and tactician Nicola Celon, who slipped to third place behind the surprising ICZ (6-3-1), led by double Olympian Martin Trcka, who claimed the eighth race and the title of Boat of the Day
Audi Ultra (7-24-15) also paid pledge to today's difficulties. Riccardo Simoneschi's Melges 24, now one point away from the provisional podium and pressed by a brilliant Altea (5-5-5). Discarding their dnf claimed during the first day, Andrea Racchelli's Melges 24 moved in the top five and looks forward to the podium, only four points distant.
Among the Corinthian, in a fleet larger than that of the open division, Lenny (3-2-14 in the special ranking and ninth in the overall) of Estonian Tonu Toniste defends a lead of eight points compared to the Dutch Team Kesbeke. The hull of Ronald Veraar however, must guard against attacks from another Estonian owner, Tiit Vihul, whose Rock City is third, just five points adrift of second place. Spirit also moved significantly closer to the Corinthian podium: the German crew, skippered by Christopher Gelsdorf, celebrated the birthday of a team member taking the overall win in the seventh race of the series.
With eight valid races and the discard counted, the Magic Marine Melges 24 European Championship, an event organized by the Royal Yacht Club Hollandia in collaboration with the International Melges 24 Class Association, is preparing to celebrate its closing days. Despite the weather forecasts being less than comforting - the wind is expected to decrease further in the coming days - Principal Race Officer Hank Stuart does not despair of completing the series by sending in results for another four races.
The championship continues until Thursday 22 August with up to twelve races to be sailed.