by Elena Giolai
Riva del Garda will mark the start of the fifth and final leg of the Melges 24 Volvo Cup. The Melges 24 regattas at Fraglia Vela Riva lasts until Sunday with around sixty boats taking part, representing ten nations.
Volvo Cup Melges 24 2011 - Riva del garda
For this event the last pier at the harbour has been made available to accommodate the Melges 24 fleet. The pier has been undergoing reconstruction work to enlarge the harbour at Fraglia Vela Riva.
This winter the committee had been a little concerned about committing themselves to organizing the last leg of the Melges 24 Volvo Cup. But the Riva Club breathed a sigh of relief when, just a couple of days ago, construction work finished making extra berthing spaces available. The outer pier is now able to accommodate the near sixty boats representing ten countries for the final leg of one of the most important national tours. This event includes some of the best sailors, tacticians, and helmsmen in the sailing world.
'We are delighted to be able to host so many boats in our renovated harbour – Mauro Stanga, President of Fraglia Vela Riva commented – and I’d like to thank all the workers and technicians of 'Perfetto Burlon' and the province, who worked all out to finish this project on time. Now we have a really beautiful and spacious harbour, practically in the historic centre of Riva del Garda. This kind of facility enhances our stature in competitive sailing – concluded Stanga.
The competition only started today because yesterday the winds didn’t show up. But it was worth the wait! Three exciting races were ran. Today’s weather settled with southerly winds at5m/sec. Increasing to 10 m/sec.
The technical water staff and buoy setters were pleased that they were able to produce a perfect racing field, repositioning the buoys when necessary. This isn’t always easy given the depth of the lake. The first leg was very technical and those who kept to the right under the coast didn’t have much success.
Altea realized this and won the race,leaving Giogi and Blu Moon behind. In the second regatta the winds had already picked up, and the buoys positioned to the right. The first three boats in this regatta are also the first three in the classification so far. Blu Moon, Little Wing and Giogi. In the meantime, (after a ninth) Riccardo Simoneschi on Audi found his form and finished fifth.
In regatta three the wind reached 10 m/s, and BluMoon who didn’t put a foot wrong, took another first placing him solidly in the lead. Simoneschi on Zampata was second and Enrico Zennaro on Little Wing also finished well. Italian champion Alberto Bolzan on Saetta (5-7-4) is fifth overall. Blu Moon is in first place by nine points over Giogi and by eleven over Little Wing who lies third. Simoneschi climbed into fourth position.
It will be a tough battle among the six crews for a place on the podium. As for the Corinthian category (amateurs), Sonke Boy of Switzerland is in the lead, followed by Iacopo Lacerra with Rewind Energy Resources. Lorenzo Gemini on SIVProeco is third.
This evening a gala dinner will be held for the Melges 24 class in the nearby fortress. The weather forecast looks great and the next two days will produce good southerly winds and more exciting races. Tomorrow’s races start at 12.00. Three regattas are scheduled.
Fraglia Vela Riva website