by Joy Dunigan
In the Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series, congratulations are in full order for Roberto Tomasini Grinover aboard Robertissima with tactician Vasco Vascotto and crew comprised of Gaetano Figlia di Granara, Giovanni Cassinari, Gunnar Bahr, Armin Raderbauer, Pablo Torrado and Nevio Sabadin as they are now the Event No. 1 Virgin Gorda champions!
2013 OtterBox® Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series
In second overall is Alex Jackson's Leenabarca and rounding out the top three, after a truly hard day of racing is Jason Carroll on Argo. Carroll won the last race of the day and the series earning third place on countback. Fourth place finisher Ryan DeVos on Volpe and Carroll shared an equal 32 points each. Richard Goransson's Inga From Sweden was fifth overall.
The final day of racing in Virgin Gorda, hosted by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) was unequivocally the best racing the Melges 32 Class has seen in a long, longtime. Teams perhaps have never worked harder as the 'inside' or North Sound racing proved to be not only tactically challenging, but it clearly put some of the world's greatest tacticians on notice. It was the ultimate brain test where each team was pushed to their limits regarding boat speed and handling. North Sound provided great match racing conditions. Combine that with glorious sunshine, a steady breeze out of 100 degrees, it was really all about where to go and most of all, when. Timing in the confined area of where air funneled in fast along the shoreline and choosing the best lane off the start and to the finish meant everything.
Race ten presented a seriously heated and intense battle for the lead between Carroll, Goransson and Dalton DeVos on Delta, Ryan's younger cousin. Carroll grabbed the lead early, holding off Goransson and DeVos right up until the gate. Gorannson powered up and challenged for the lead on the second beat winning the top mark and holding on right up until the last mark rounding. It was a fierce fight as Carroll refused to let Goransson keep the lead position. Carroll barely took the lead at the mark, half-a-boat length in front of Goransson and DeVos on his hip. The three took it to the mark and back downwind for a screaming good finish. Spectators held their breath as DeVos looked to be passing Goransson, while Carroll fired up his Melges 32 to maximium speed. In a couple of quick and simple jibes, Carroll took the win easily, with Goransson out-pacing DeVos for second. Dalton took third.
Approximately one hour after racing concluded and teams hit the docks, a lavish awards ceremony was held to recognized and award Robertissima with trophies and lots of products and prizes from title sponsor OtterBox®. Tomasini Grinover received an iPad® mini and matching OtterBox Defender Series® case. The entire team were awarded OtterBox Armor Series® cases for iPhone® and other very cool accessories. Every team received one bottle of complimentary champagne for attending.
The list is long, but it has to be said. PRO Hank Stuart and the IM32CA partnership with the Royal BVI Yacht Club was a match made in racing heaven. Sheer perfection on the course enabled racers to focus on going fast, so a huge round of thanks to the Race Committee for an impeccable past four days of racing. YCCS' Sports Director Edoardo Recchi and his entire staff in Virgin Gorda was incredible, most especially to Stefano Cuoco and Fabio Fraticelli.
A sincere and amazing thank you to Oil Nut Bay for an experience that no one will ever forget. The Owner's dinner and reception on Friday night was second to none, and the big buffet beach party on Saturday night was incredible. Lots of great friends, a great band and again, the surroundings of one of the most beautiful places in the world made this event one to remember.
A special mention of thanks to the DeVos family for the crew party on Friday night was phenomenal where everyone had the very best fun, party and entertainment.
On behalf of the IM32CA, special thanks to Tom Geisler as his very steady hand at the helm of the Volpe tender, as without his talents the beautiful photos and media coverage of the event would not have been possible!
Roberto Tomasini Grinover, Robertissima - 2013 OtterBox® Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series - Virgin Gorda Champion - 2013 OtterBox® Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series
Alex Jackson, Leenabarca - 2013 OtterBox® Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series
Jason Carroll, Argo - 2013 OtterBox® Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series
Top Five Results (Final - After 10 races/one discard)
1.) Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima 1; 1-4-1-4--6-1-1-1-5 = 24
2.) Alex Jackson/Paul Goodison, Leenabarca; 4-2-2-2--5-3-5-2-4 = 29
3.) Ryan DeVos/Ed Baird, Volpe; 5-7--1-1-1-2-3-4-1 = 32
Melges 32 website