Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series 2011 at Yacht Club Costa Smerelda (YCCS), Porto Cervo on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, gets underway Friday 17th June and will run through until Sunday 19th June.
A top quality international fleet, comprising 19 teams from six countries (ITA, CZE, GBR, NED, USA, FRA), has gathered at the YCCS on the eve of the third leg of the Series.
Going into this regatta, John Kilroy on USA 13131 Samba Pa Ti, leads the overall series by a margin of six points, from second placed Vincenzo Onorato & Paolo Masserdotti on ITA 2121 Mascalzone Latino. Lying third in the series and tied on points with Mascalzone Latino is Alessio Marinelli on Audi Fratelli Giacomel Armonia. With Onorato/Masserdotti not in attendance this weekend, no doubt Kilroy and Marinelli will both be equally keen to turn in strong performances in order to consolidate their positions at the top of the leaderboard.
Such is the competitive nature of the International Melges 32 Class, that a large percentage of the teams competing at this event are each capable of winning individual races and even stringing together a series good enough to win the regatta outright. Amongst the talented owner/drivers likely to be vying for the podium positions this weekend are reigning Melges 32 World Champion Luca Lalli on ITA 23 B-Lin Sailing, 2009 World Champion Pieter Taselaar on USA 169 Bliksem, as well as reigning European Champion Joe Woods on GBR 500 Red. Beyond these proven championship winners however, teams like Edoardo Lupi's ITA 487 Torpyone, Lanfranco Cirillo's ITA 212 Fantastica and Filippo Pacinotti's ITA 667 Brontolo HH have all previously proved themselves to be highly potent forces in this series.
Today's practise racing was sailed in warm sunshine and a fitful 6 - 7 knots easterly breeze. Local forecasts suggest that the breeze may remain light for the first two days of the regatta, with stronger winds anticipated for the final day.
Racing is scheduled to get underway at 11.30 local time each day, except for Saturday, when an additional standalone ‘Audi Invitational Race’ will be run, scheduled to start at 11.00 AM local time.
You can follow all of the action on the Official Melges 32 Blog
, where we will be bringing you live text and video updates from the racecourse throughout the regatta, with these updates also being posted to the International Melges 32 and Melges Europe Facebook Pages. Melges 32 website