Melges 32 World Championship - Helly Hansen Inga from Sweden leads
by Joy Dunigan on 20 Sep 2013
After just one race, the 2013 Melges 32 World Championship hosted by the Yacht Club Porto Rotondo (YCPR) in coordination with Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), B.Plan Sports & Events (BPSE) and Melges Europe, looks to International Class Vice Chairman Richard Goransson and tactician Hamish Pepper aboard Helly Hansen Inga From Sweden for overall event leadership. Following in second place is Andrea Pozzi's Bombarda Racing with Lorenzo Bressani calling tactics, then Filippo Pacinotti on Brontolo HH with tactician Nathan Wilmot in third.
Tight weather mark rounding in Race 1 at the 2013 Melges 32 World ©JOY | IM32CA http://melges32.com/
'We've been training quite a bit, working hard to improve since the last World Championship in Newport. It was our first event.' commented Goransson. 'Obviously we are quite happy with where we are at in the standings after today, but there is still a lot of racing yet to be completed. Tonight we will just try and take it kind of easy. We'll have a nice dinner, watch some AC racing, then come back out tomorrow and try to do our best again.'
Needless to say the only heat of the day was nothing short of spectacular as the extreme conditions put competitors on high alert for a great race. An all clear start lead to several teams launching off the line with speed, Pozzi included.
He came on very strong at the first mark with Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino right behind and Pacinotti in third. Pozzi held the lead all the way around the track, with Goransson improving his position at every turn. On the final run, Pozzi set the spinnaker with confidence and blasted downwind to the finish with Goransson following closely. Just before crossing the line, Pozzi and team had trouble with the spinnaker, losing the race to Goransson as he sailed right by with no problem. Pozzi still managed a second place finish, while Pacinotti finished a solid third.
'Today was a good day,' said Pozzi post racing. 'I am happiest and feel we do better when there is more breeze. If you recall, I won the last race of the last World Championship in similar conditions so, this is an attempt to continue to be strong and race well.'
As expected, the breeze built throughout Race One and prior to starting Race Two, it quickly exceeded the class maximum wind speed. Knowing that it would not be immediate, PRO Hank Stuart sent the teams ashore to wait in hopes it would diminish enough in the afternoon enabling at least one more race. After more than a couple of hours, Stuart announced that conditions looked promising, sending the fleet afloat around three-forty-five in the afternoon with a warning scheduled for five o'clock.
Shortly thereafter, the conditions grew more intense preventing any further racing on Thursday. Some under jib only, others under tow, teams made their way back to the dock in the 30+ knot breeze.
2011 Audi Melges 20 Gold Cup Champion and reigning Audi Sailing Series champion Alessandro Rombelli aboard Azimut by STIG delivered a stunning first day performance to finish fourth. American Jason Carroll and his ARGO team round out the top five.
Top 10 Results (After One Race)
1.) Richard Goransson/Hamish Pepper, Helly Hansen Inga From Sweden; 1 = 1
2.) Andrea Pozzi/Lorenzo Bressani, Bombarda; 2 = 2
3.) Filippo Pacinotti/Nathan Wilmot, Brontolo HH; 3 = 3
4.) Alessandro Rombelli/Paul Goodison, Azimut by STIG; 4 = 4
5.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, ARGO; 5 = 5
6.) Deneen Demourkas/Francesco Bruni, Groovederci; 6 = 6
7.) Naofumi Kamei/Manuel Weiller, Mamma Aiuto!; 7 = 7
8.) Vincenzo Onorato/Gabriele Benussi, Mascalzone Latino; 8 = 8
9.) Edoardo Lupi/Pietro Sibello, Torpyone; 9 = 9
10.) Keisuke Suzuki/Chris Nicolson, Swing; 10 = Event website
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