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5.5 Metre Alpen Cup at Circolo Vela Torbole - Day 2

by Robert Deaves 28 Apr 2023 14:55 PDT 27-29 April 2023

Aspire (POL 17, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemyslaw Gacek, Ed Wright) extended their lead on the second day of 5.5 Metre Alpen Cup at Torbole. Artemis (NOR 57, Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne, Trond Solli-Sæther) moved up to second after winning the final race while Girls On Film (GBR 41, Louise Morton, Frithjof Kleen, Sam Haines) put in the performance of the day with two race wins to move up to third.

The second day of Alpen Cup brought lighter winds, but it was still a one-way track to the right. Against all the odds, Jean Genie (GBR 43, Peter Morton, Andrew Palfrey, Ruairidh Scott) was repaired overnight and back in the water, after losing their rudder on Thursday. However, it didn't last long, again breaking on the first downwind after rounding near the front. John B (BAH 26 Gavin McKinney, Lars Horn Johannessen, Mathias Dahlman) made the best of the start, winning the pin and tacking to the right to lead at the top. However, Girls on Film moved to the front at the second windward mark and extended to win. Otto (NOR 69, Bent Christian Wilhelmsen, Lasse Berthelsen, Herve Cunningham) crossed in third.

In the second race, Girls on Film led at every mark. Artemis was in hot pursuit and drew level down the final run, but ran out of race track before the finish. Aspire crossed in third.

A third the fleet were tempted left in the final race, but it still didn't pay. Artemis led round the top from Aspire and New Moon III (BAH 25, Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov). For a while Aspire challenged Artemis but Aspire was having some equipment problems, and Artemis escaped. Then New Moon III came through and with a smart move at the final gate, rounded ahead to take second with Aspire again third.

Overall Aspire takes a lead of six points into the final day. Artemis is second with Girls on Film third, but with just nine points separating second to seventh, the podium is still wide open.

Louise Morton, from Girls on Film said, "I've had a cracking day today. I won two races and I've never won a race in the 5.5 before, so I am over the moon. I have a really good crew with Frithjof Kleen and Sam Haines and they are awesome. Frithjof knows the lake really well which is really helpful, and they are all over it.

"We didn't have as much wind as yesterday, but we still needed to go right, though we couldn't get to the right in the third race and ended up eighth.

"It's great racing on Garda. I've never raced here before, but I am blown away. The club is fantastic and we are having a really good time. What more is there to say really?

"The level of the fleet is really high, but I am blessed with a quick boat. There's no doubt about it. Morty put a lot of effort in to getting GBR 41, 42 and 43 all sorted. Everything works on the boat. We had a mishap with the gooseneck yesterday, but we repaired that overnight. The boat is beautiful and so balanced.

"Racing in these boats is so pure. Having sailed a quarter tonner where I spend my life trying to keep the hull under the rig, this is so much easier downwind in a blow so I should be less frightened going out on windy days."

Benjamin Stillfried, from Austria, on Topas III, the youngest sailor in the fleet, is sailing a Modern for the first time with his brother Max, along with Will Alloway, who normally sails with Craig Symonette.

"It's very exciting to be here in Torbole, trying to keep up with the some of the amazing sailors here. We had a great day. Yesterday was very tough, especially with the new boat.

"It's my first time sailing on the modern, and great to be sailing with Will, showing us how the pro sailors do it. I used to sail an Evolution, and we always had a great time, but I'm happy to learn more and keep improving."

Kristian Nergaard won the final race of the day, and noted a gradual improvement over the two days.

"Today was better for us. We really struggled yesterday with in the big breeze and apparently were very rusty but coming into today we were a little rusty in the first race and then the last two races we were more quiet on board and we were just doing our jobs the right way like we usually do and we had a second and a first so pretty happy with that.

"We thought the day was going to be windy. They said it was going to blow 24, but I don't think we saw anything beyond 16 or 18. It was a little bit up and down and we used the medium job in the last race which favoured us in the chop doing out to the right on port. We just needed that little more power to get going, so we were happy with our upwind speed, as well as downwind."

He also commented on the level in the fleet. "I am surprised with the fleet really coming up here. We have 17 modern boats here, some good teams, and it's picking up. We were a little uncertain after covid what would happen with the fives but there's definitely more boats and I think we are going to see that trend continue in the years to come; so that's good."

Racing at Torbole concludes Saturday with two more races scheduled.

Results after Day 2: (top five, 6 races)

1 Aspire (POL 17, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemyslaw Gacek, Ed Wright) 11pts
2 Artemis (NOR 57, Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne, Trond Solli-Sæther) 17pts
3 Girls On Film (GBR 41, Louise Morton, Frithjof Kleen, Sam Haines) 18pts
4 Shaolin (SUI 226, Flavio Marazzi, Hans von Werdt, Andreas Kindlimann) 19pts
5 Otto (NOR 69, Bent Christian Wilhelmsen, Lasse Berthelsen, Herve Cunningham) 23pts

Full results available here.

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