The three way battle for supremacy in the Cagliari edition of the Melges 32 Audi Circuit 2008 between Claudio Recchi on ‘Uka Uka Racing’, Savino Formentini’s ‘Bitipi’ and Stefano Leporati’s ‘Kismet and went down to the wire on the third and final day. Uka Uka Racing, placing fourth in this race were able to claim victory in the Cagliari Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series 2008
After six races ‘Uka Uka Racing’ held a tenuous one point lead over ‘Bitipi’ who in turn were only two points ahead of ‘Kismet’. All three teams knew that they needed strong results on the final day to challenge for the title.
Race one started in a gentle six to seven knots, flat seas and under bright blue skies. The earlier than normal start time had to be delayed by around thirty minutes to let the breeze settle. Soon after the start however there was a significant right hand shift and an increase in pressure which seemed to catch out the three boats fighting for the overall title.
First over to the right to take advantage of the shift and the new pressure were Armando Giuletti’s ‘Hiroshi – Citta di Milano’, Luigi Melgari’s ‘Matrix’ and Michael Illbruck’s ‘Pinta’. This pack rounded the top mark in that order, hoisted and immediately rolled into a gybe before setting off down the slightly one sided run.
Behind them ‘Uka Uka Racing’ who rounded in fifth were keeping a close eye on their two challengers – ‘Bitipi’ and ‘Kismet’ who were in sixth and seventh respectively. These positions and those of the leaders remained the same at the leeward mark rounding.
With the wind going further right still on the beat, it was a case of the ‘rich getting richer’ as the leaders were able to get out to the starboard layline for the changed windward mark and use maximum leverage to extend their lead. At the top mark ‘Hiroshi – Citta di Milano’ rounded first and went on to take a comfortable win ahead of ‘Matrix’ and ‘Pinta’. Amongst the overall leaders ‘Uka Uka Racing’ held on to their fifth place, ‘Kismet’ came through in seventh and ‘Bitipi’ had their first poor result of the series with a ninth.
At this stage and with only one race to go ‘Uka Uka Racing’ and Bitipi’ were tied for the overall lead on sixteen points.
In the final race ‘Matrix’ rounded off a near perfect day with a comprehensive win. Leading around every mark they kept a close cover on ‘Kismet’ who took second place. ‘Pinta’ posted another third place for the day. The ‘Bitipi’ challenge for first overall faded when they could only manage a seventh place.
This meant that ‘Uka Uka Racing’, placing fourth in this race were able to claim victory in the Cagliari Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series 2008. Stefano Leporati’s ‘Kismet’ by virtue of their 1,2 for the day had moved up to take second overall. A ninth and seventh on the final day meant that a disappointed Savino Formentini on ‘Bitipi’ dropped to third.
Luigi Melegari’s ‘Matrix’ who won the Malcesine event and finished fourth in Cagliari continues to lead the overall regatta series standings with ‘Uka Uka Racing’ and ‘Kismet’ second and third respectively.
Melges Europe and the Melges 32 European Class are grateful for the continuing support of their title sponsor Audi and also to Moby Lines for their generous assistance with the transportation of the fleet to Sardinia.
The fleet now moves on to the Yacht Club Cala De Medici who will host the next round of the Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series from the 11th to the 13th of July.