The second day's racing on the 2011 D-One Gold Cup in Fraglia Vela Riva del Garda produced yet another thrilling duel between Australian Tom Slingsby and Great Britain's Nick Thompson.
'Ora', the local southerly breeze, started at 16 knots and dropped to 12 in the second race. Slingsby scored an incredible come-from-behind win in the first race after recovering from a capsize in the first run. Thompson took the second race and claimed overall leadership after 4 races. It was another excellent day for Abdrea Casale (3-4, fourth overall) while Fabio Toccoli was eighth overall and second among the Italian fleet.
Spectators on the Garda lake on Friday afternoon were treated with an exceptional performance by Tom Slingsby.
In the day's first race (third in the 2011 D-One Gold Cup) and with the southerly breeze blowing 16 knots, the Australian, current world Laser champion, was able to recover from a capsize in the first run, while he was in the lead. His exceptional speed in the second run and his perfect tactics in the final run allowed him to recover three spots and win the race. This was another proof of this top-notch sailor's skills.
When Slingsby capsized, Andrea Casale from Genoa took the leadership, only to be overtaken at the second weather mark. 'These guys sail like crazy,' said Casale, 'I gave my best but I have to admit that sailing against them is indeed a pleasure!' Casale finally was third, behind Slingsby and Thompson. Among the remaining Italian skippers, Giuseppe Pontremoli finished seventh.
In the second race, the 'Ora' had dropped to 12 knots but this didn't take away the excitement from the fight between Thompson and Slingsby. This time it was the British sailor that got the upper hand after he passed the Australian in the second beat. Third was another British, Giles Scott, current European Finn champion. Fourth place went to Andrea Casale and Croatia's Ivan Gaspic finished fifth. Among the other Italian skippers, Giorgio Poggi and Fabio Tocolli were, respectively, seventh and eighth while ninth place went to Uberto Crivelli Visconti.
After four races with one discard, Nick Thompson is sitting at the top of the overall leaderboard (1-2-2-1) with 4 points, tied with Tom Slingsby (3-1-1-2). Giles Scott is third (2-4-4-3), Andrea Casale fourth (4-3-3-4) while fifth place goes to another British skipper, Charlie Cumbley. Among the Italians, Fabio Toccoli is eighth (10-8-12-8), Giorgio Poggi ninth (DNF-7-19-7) and Riccardo Pontremoli is tenth (8-11-22-14).
'It's been a really tough day,' admitted Tom Slingsby, 'I capsized halfway down the first run in a gybe close to the rocks. I was then able to recover thanks to my speed upwind with a strong breeze that today was clearly notable. It's a pure pleasure racing on this dinghy that blends the abilities of a hiking boat upwind with the speed and fun downwind.'
The Volvo Cup D-One, after the events in Alassio, Bracciano, Cattolica and Riva del Garda, will proceed to Marina di Scarlino in conjunction with the National Championship (16-18 September) and the Barcolina of Trieste (1-2 October).