Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Polarised and non-polarised readers for sailors

Melges 24 World Championship - Battle for podium placings underway

by Lisa Ratcliff/Gill Melges 24 World Championship on 2 Feb 2014
BLU MOON Flavio Favini (SUI825) - Gill Melges 24 World Championship 2014 Teri Dodds
Gill Melges 24 World Championship 2014 - It’s been 13 years since the Italian sailing maestro Flavio Favini won a Melges 24 world championship.

Last year in San Francisco he finished runner-up to Brian Porter’s Full Throttle by two points and on many more occasions since his win in 2001, Favini has finished tantalisingly close to the top spot.

Tonight the triumphant helmsman has a second title in the bag and so comfortable is Blu Moon’s winning margin they will pack up the boat tomorrow ready for shipping while a ding-dong battle for the remaining podium placings is underway in the final race of the series.

The two American teams, Harry Melges’ STAR and Bora Gulari’s West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes are a point apart, 36 and 37, in second and third overall. 'It’s on,' said a grinning Gulari after reading the scores.

Favini paid tribute to his team of Gabriele Benussi (tactician), Stefano Rizzi, Giovanni Ferrari and Nicholas Dal Ferro, 'We have a very good crew, so many good sailors that make my job so much easier.'

The last Melges 24 world championship was held in October, a short reign for Porter. The tight timeframe also meant the internationals’ boats had to be shipped straight to Australia, cutting into Blu Moon’s preparation time.

'It was great to do the Australian Open Nationals last week, a beautiful regatta won by STAR. We took the chance to sail to prepare for the worlds,' said Favini.

On today’s belated start of racing Favini said, 'We knew the breeze would fill in late so we were prepared to wait. It’s a part of the sport.'

Race 10 began almost two hours after the scheduled warning signal due to a glass-out on the bay, which meant a long delay for crews, officials and spectators in the hot sun.

The sou’easter filled in just after 1500hrs, 7-10 knots for race 10 and up to 12-15 for race 11.

Swiss Franco Rossini’s Blu Moon duelled with Harry Melges’ STAR for four days on Geelong’s Corio Bay to finish their regatta with 28 points and no need to race tomorrow.

Rossini was on board for the win in 2001 and today he and Flavio’s former tactician Tiziano Nava followed the fleet around the course on a RIB and met them on the dock afterwards to celebrate.

'We have a very good week, especially with such tough competitor as STAR. Harry is such a good sailor. We have a very good relationship and I’m proud to sail against him,' added Favini.

Travelling to the other side of the world with a boat, crew and gear is a major exercise and one Favini has enjoyed.

'I like Australia; it’s so nice to come down here. In Italy we have such bad weather, storms, raining and snow. We are having a real winter so the main difference is we are in shorts and T-shirts here.'

Current Moth world champion Bora Gulari really found his grove at these worlds in today’s light airs.

'I think we have finally come to grips with the whole place, we have boat speed again and good tactics, everything is clicking,' Gulari said this afternoon dockside at the host Royal Geelong Yacht Club.

Gulari’s West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes is now third overall and they and STAR have a fight on their hands for second.

Gulari is also a Downunder fan. 'It’s awesome; an incredible place to sail. When I’m not at home in the USA I’d rather be sailing in Australia.'

Home in Detroit sounds good, but the reality is that at the professional level Gulari sails, he’s rarely there.

'I’ve spent two weeks at my house since July last year. I don’t get to go home a whole lot, when I do the standard deal is home for 24 hours, do some laundry and I’m out. It’s tough on relationships and guys with families,' he admitted.

Growing up Gulari wanted to be a rocket scientist or a pilot. He has an aerospace engineering degree and says if he had a ‘normal’ job he’d be an engineer of some sorts.

He’s looking forward to tomorrow’s match up. 'It will be exciting, I like racing against Harry and the boys on Star'.

For fun Gulari took the chance to go back out on Corio Bay this afternoon for a twilight sail on a Mach 2 Moth borrowed from designer Andrew MacDougall.

Warwick Rooklyn (Bandit) went to the protest room with Dave Alexander (Kowabunga) for a port/starboard, and lost. Their disqualification from race 11 has shuffled the Australians out of the top 10, leaving Nathan Wilmot’s Melges Asia Pacific Kaito in sixth and Cameron Miles’ Roger That in ninth.

Roger That has locked up the Corinthian world champion title with one race remaining.

Another warm day and late arriving sea breeze is forecast for tomorrow and the race committee has moved the first warning signal for race 12 back to 1400hrs.

Series Results [Open] up to Race 11 (Drops = 1)

1 - BLU MOON Flavio Favini (SUI825)
2 - STAR Harry Melges (USA841)
3 - WEST MARINE RIGGING/NEW ENGLAND ROPES Bora Gulari (USA820)
4 - CAVILLINO / MCLUBE Chris Larson (CAN795)
5 - AUDI Riccardo Simoneschi (ITA840)

Series Results [Corinthian] up to Race 11 (Drops = 1)

1 - ROGER THAT Cameron Miles (AUS750)
2 - REDMIST Robin Deussen (AUS607)
3 - AMIGOS Geoff Fogarty (AUS816)

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Kilwell - 4Naiad/Oracle SupplierBakewell-White Yacht Design