Monthly Archives: August 2015
Photo © Carlo Borlenghi
Melges 32 World Championship at Trapani, Italy – Overall
Congratulations to the 2015 Melges 32 World Champions Alessandro Rombelli and his Stig team that includes tactician Francesco Bruni and crew members Pierluigi De Felice, Giorgio Tortarolo, Michele Giovannini, Daniele Fiaschi, Luca Faravelli (2010 World Champ) and Filippo La Mantia. Less than one year ago, Rombelli found himself fourth overall at the Miami Worlds. A complete European sailing season later, he now sits atop as ‘king’ of the highly competitive, yet extraordinarily rewarding one design class – the Melges 32.
Despite the most impressive performance on the water, on the final day, 2013-14 trophy holder Jason Carroll on Argo finishes the event in second overall. Tactician Cameron Appleton and crew members Scott Norris, Anthony Kotoun, Graham Landy, Mike Kutchner, Phillip ‘Flipper’ Wehrheim and Jake Ladow raced their hearts out to score a 1-1 for the day.
2015 marked the first time that American Ryan DeVos on Volpe raced on the prestigious European Audi-Tron Sailing Series circuit. One of the fleet’s most exciting young sailors, DeVos finished third overall. He has been racing his Melges 32 alongside his father Doug DeVos for more than five years, and amongst their most notable accomplishments are U.S. National and North American Championship titles. In addition to his dad, the legendary Mark Mendelblatt served as tactician with crew members Scott Nixon, Sam Rogers, Ryan’s cousin Drew Weirda, Mike Hill and Keiran Searle.
Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s G-Spot, winner of two World Championship heats finished the event in fourth, followed by Japan’s Yukihiro Ishida on Yasha Samurai in fifth – his best result at a Melges 32 Worlds!
Rombelli wins 2915 Audi-Tron Sailing Series
It goes without saying that for Rombelli and his Stig team, it has been an unforgettable season of racing his Melges 32. With impactful wins in Loano, Porto Ercole and now Trapani at Worlds, Rombelli has established himself as a true, formidable opponent and competitor in the world of yacht racing.
Leading right up to the Worlds, Tomasini Grinover’s Robertissima remained a strong front-runner. His win in Riva del Garda combined with only an eighth place finish at Worlds, Roberto comfortably finishes the season second overall.
Another individual who shined exceptionally bright all season long, and put brilliance on front-burner display in Trapani is third place overall di Lapigio. He proudly finishes out the European sailing season in third overall.
Rounding out the top five was the enthusiastic, energetic and highly entertaining team of Torpyone commanded by Edoardo Lupi and Massimo Pessina in fourth, and the American, not to mention youngest helmsman in the fleet, Dalton DeVos on Delta finished fifth.
Overall Results: (top ten, 8 races, 1 discard)
1 Alessandro Rombelli/Francesco Bruni, Stig; 2-2-4-3-1--4-2-3-6 = 27pts
2 Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo; 4-3-1-2-4-4--15-1-1 = 35pts
3 Ryan DeVos/Mark Mendelblatt, Volpe; 3-4-8-14-9-2--5-5-2 = 52pts
4 Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio/Branko Brcin, G-Spot; 12-10-5-1-7-1-15--6-7 = 64pts
5 Yukihiro Ishida/Hamish Pepper, Yasha Samurai; 11-6-3-16--3-17-1-8-3 = 68pts
6 Keisuke Suzuki/Nicolai Sehested, Swing; 14-8-6-5-6-7-12--4-11 = 73pts
7 Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; 13-5-19-4-3--9-7-10-4 = 74pts
8 Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima; 1-21-2-13-12-9-3-6-[22/ZFP]-12 = 79pts
9 Andrea Ferrari/Roberto Spata, Spirit of Nerina; 7-7-16-11-11-10-1-4-12- = 79pts
10 Filippo Pacinotti/Gabrio Zandona, Brontolo HH; 9--13-12-2-12-14-3-7-16 = 88pts
2015 Audi-Tron Sailing Series Overall Results: (top ten, 5 events)
1 Alessandro Rombelli, Stig; 134pts
2 Roberto Tomasini Grinover, Robertissima; 152pts
3 Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio, G-Spot; 189pts
4 Edoardo Lupi/Massimo Pessina, Torpyone; 249pts
5 Dalton DeVos, Delta; 253pts
6 Alec Cutler, Hedgehog; 257pts
7 Jason Carroll, Argo; 262pts
8 Valetin Zavadnikov, Synergy GT; 267pts
9 Richard Goransson, Inga From Sweden; 295pts
10 Andrea Ferrari, Spirit of Nerina; 299pt
Photos © Guilain Grenier
Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour Trofeo di Roma – Overall
Civitavecchia’s wind gods smiled on competitors during the Trofeo di Roma’s final day. The wind peaked at 10 knots, adequate not only to get the entire six race schedule completed, but also for the nimble GC32 catamarans to get fully foiling on the conclusion to this, the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour’s penultimate event.
For the top three boats the day was one of mixed fortunes, the leaderboard initially showing Sultanate of Oman leading Alinghi and Spindrift racing, respectively of Bertarelli siblings Ernesto and Dona, tied three points behind.
After a disappointing Saturday, which saw Spindrift racing drop from first place to third, skipper Yann Guichard turned his fortunes around by winning the day’s opening race.
However Alinghi then countered with not just one win, but three in row causing them close to one point behind Sultanate of Oman. The Swiss were fully on a roll…until disaster struck: A miscommunication over whether or not they should be carrying a guest caused them almost to miss the start of race five.
As skipper/helm Morgan Larson admitted: “We put our shutters down and talked about the next race and the next thing we know our coach boat comes up to us and says ‘look over there’ and there was a minute to go…” They made the start, albeit late and on the back foot, but then retired from the race when it became apparent that the warning from their coach boat amounted to receiving outside assistance. They subsequently filed a protest which was overturned.
At the start of the final race the scoreboard was almost back to square one with Alinghi and Spindrift racing tied, albeit now four points behind Sultanate of Oman. All it would take would Alinghi/Spindrift racing to win and Leigh McMillan’s Omani team to finish fourth or worse… In the event it wasn’t to be. As Sultanate of Oman mixed it up with her rivals, Alinghi was put out of the running when she was OCS and was obliged to slow to let the competition overtake her.
Ultimately a win for Flavio Marazzi’s Armin Strom Sailing Team and Sebastien Rogues’ Team Engie coming home second, was enough to hand overall victory to Sultanate of Oman, her second event win on the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour following May’s Austria Cup on Lake Traunsee.
While Sultanate of Oman maintained the lead throughout the day, skipper Leigh McMillan observed: “It did get handed to us a little bit, but we were still going well – we had a string of seconds and a third and we were still in the lead going into the penultimate race. We are happy. I am pretty exhausted, but the crew pulled us through,” he concluded, paying tribute to Pete Greenhalgh, Alister Richardson, Nasser Al Mashari and Ed Smyth.
Being able to go foiling fully delighted crews and corporate guests, the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour being the first occasion when the latter have been able to experience what it is like to race on board foiling catamarans.
Morgan Larson was bitterly disappointed by today’s final two races, especially after his team had been on a roll and poised to relieve the Omani team of the lead. Although this overshadowed the outcome, the Californian skipper was otherwise pleased by their performance. “It was tricky and the guys did a super job until I let them down by not seeing the signals and the last OCS. Otherwise it was a fantastic day for the team.”
Skipper Yann Guichard was also upbeat, with Alinghi’s results in the final two races allowing Spindrift racing to finish second overall. “It was a good day of racing, even though it was up and down for us. We were foiling and had good speed and all the boats are really close – anyone can win a race.”
Despite a last minute venue change, Civitavecchia rewarded the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour with foiling conditions on two of four days with the final prizegiving held this afternoon at the Terminal del Gusto food festival, that supported the event.
“It was good that we had some more breeze on the last day,” said International GC32 Class President and Armin Strom Sailing Team skipper Flavio Marazzi, thanking the local organisers Ventana Group and the rest of the Italian event’s supporters. “At least we could foil from time to time, which is what it is all about on these boats.”
The next event is Marseille One Design, from 30 Sep – 3 Oct. Marseille is renown as a venue able to provide big conditions and with them a dramatic conclusion to the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour.
|1||Sultanate of Oman||2||1||3||3||3||2||1||1||2||3||5||3||2||2||2||3||3||4||45|
|4||ARMIN STROM Sailing Team||3||5||1||1||4||5||4||5||5||5||4||5||5||3||4||2||2||1||64|
International Moth Europeans at Lilystad, Netherlands
The final day of the International Moth Europeans and it all fell into place for Rob Greenhalgh. As Chris Rashley struggled, Greenhalgh scored a 1, 3, 1, to snatch the title by one point.
Current European Champion Chris Rashley (GBR) won the first five races of the championship but Rob Greenhalgh (GBR) held on with seconds in each race. As the breeze went light on Friday, Greenhalgh picked up the bullets whilst Rashley discounted a third on Friday leaving the contest open on the closing weekend.
However the breeze went light on Saturday allowing for only a single race which was won by Rashley, with Greenhalgh in second and Paul Goodison (GBR) third.
Three races on Sunday would decide the title and in a dramatic last race, Rashley had a less than impressive day for his standards scoring a discounted 8 and a 4,3, but Greenhalgh’s win in the final race stole the show to snatch the title.
Top 10 after 10 races (74 entries)
1st GBR 4340 Robert Greenhalgh 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 1 -3 1 15,0 pts
2nd GBR 4 Chris Rashley 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 -8 4 3 16,0 pts
3rd GBR 4341 Paul Goodison 3 5 3 3 -10 4 3 3 2 2 28,0 pts
4th GBR 3942 Jason Belben, Master 4 3 5 5 3 2 -8 4 8 5 39,0 pts
5th GBR 4251 Dan Ward 7 6 9 9 5 5 -19 15 5 9 70,0 pts
6th GBR 4309 Jim McMillan 9 -19 13 6 6 7 4 9 14 7 75,0 pts
7th FRA 3875 Benoit Marie 11 8 -16 8 12 9 16 7 11 11 93,0 pts
8th IRL 4097 Rory Fitzpatrick 10 20 11 13 8 6 -28 14 6 8 96,0 pts
9th GBR 4040 Daniel Henderson 12 (dns) 10 10 11 13 5 6 16 15 98,0 pts
10th GBR 3979 Dan Ellis 8 7 15 14 7 10 27 (dns) 13 10 111,0 pts
Photo c Rick Tomlinson
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Gothenburg – Overall
Emirates Team New Zealand put together a Super Sunday in Sweden, to vault to the top of the leaderboard and claim the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Gothenburg.
It was a difficult day on the tight race course, with light and shifty conditions. But the Kiwis, led by skipper Glenn Ashby and prodigy helmsman Peter Burling showed no fear, posting a 2-1 scoreline in the two double-point races.
“It was a tricky afternoon, but our guys had a forecast for it being light like this for quite a few days, so we’ve been preparing for it since we arrived,” Burling said.
“We’re really happy to put together two solid races today and to perform under pressure in that last one is very satisfying.” Saturday’s leader, Oracle Team USA, came in to the day on the back of a perfect scoreline in the first two races.
But on Sunday it was a different story. Two fourth place finishes dropped the defending champion of the America’s Cup to second place.
“We’re disappointed,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill. “We were having a very difficult time speed-wise and with our technique in the lighter winds. We felt good when the breeze was up and we were on the foils. So we have to get back to work.”
Land Rover BAR won the first Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series on home waters in Portsmouth. Two second place finishes on Saturday had the team poised for another top finish. But a poor start in the last race put the team in third place for the Swedish stop.
“It’s frustrating,” admitted skipper Ben Ainslie. “But that’s the nature of the sport. We’re pleased to be on the podium. We got past Artemis Racing and nearly caught Oracle Team USA at the end, so that was important.
“In these conditions you need to get a good start and we didn’t do that. It’s hard to work your way back after that. I thought the Kiwis sailed a brilliant second race and deserved to get the win.”
SoftBank Team Japan was in fourth place, with a strong final race giving a boost to the team’s confidence heading into the next event in Bermuda.
“The goal today was to get better starts and get around the first mark in good shape and we did that,” said skipper Dean Barker. “It didn’t translate into the results we wanted in the first race, but in the second race today, we nailed it.
“We also had a couple of good results in the practice races as well, so hopefully we carry that through to Bermuda.”
Another team looking for positive signs was Groupama Team France, who raced without regular tactician Arnaud Psarofaghis, on a day that called for good tactics.
“It was good to finish third in the last race,” said skipper Franck Cammas. “It’s taken a long time to find a good mode for sailing downwind and that’s held us back. Today was tactically tricky. Even if you start well, the game comes after the start. But we managed the tactics with Thierry Fouchier and myself and we had a bit more time to think because the wind was light.”
The day started well for the hometown heroes on Artemis Racing, who have struggled to put together consistently good results.
That pattern would continue. An inspiring win in the first race was followed by a last place finish in the second.
“We got a ripper of a start in the first one and when you get ahead of the pack in these conditions it can roll into a massive lead,” said skipper Nathan Outteridge.
“We’ve been working really hard as a team to fix our issues. Yesterday we sailed well but didn’t get the results which was very discouraging, but I kept reminding the guys it will come, we’re so close.
“So to put it all together in that first race was great for our fans, our team and for us on the boat as well. Of course it would have been nice to follow that up with another solid race, but I guess we’ll have to do that in Bermuda.”
The Race to Bermuda starts in earnest now, as the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series shifts to the home of the 2017 America’s Cup from October 16-18.
Louis Vuitton ACWS Gothenburg Final Results:
1st Emirates Team NZ – 54pts
2nd Oracle Team USA – 48pts
3rd Land Rover BAR – 46pts
4th SoftBank Team Japan – 43pts
5th Artemis Racing – 42pts
6th Groupama Team France 37pts
(after the first two events)
1st Emirates Team New Zealand – 72pts
2nd Land Rover BAR – 65pts
3rd Oracle Team USA – 64pts
4th SoftBank Team Japan – 56pts
5th Artemis Racing – 53pts
6th Groupama Team France – 50pts
Photo © BPSE / M Melandri
Melges 32 World Championship at Trapani, Italy
Any sailor thinking they were going to have a shorter day after an on-shore postponement on the fourth day at the 2015 Melges 32 Worlds Championships in Trapani were sorely mistaken. The plan was to delay the start, wait for the breeze to build and bang off three quality races, but instead a weak northerly wind tricked and teased the twenty-two boat fleet, eventually completing two races under a setting sun that shook up the standings for a second day in a row.
Once assembled at the race area around 2:30 pm, PRO Anderson Reggio set a course for 300 degrees, presenting the sailors with a direction not previously seen ultimately setting forth new challenges. After a general recall and another Z-flag start, the fleet quickly spread out with those still thinking the right was the place to be, while a pack started at the pin and raced to the left corner in the search of fresh wind.
With the fleet looking even halfway up the beat, it was Alec Cutler’s Hedgehog who headed to the left side, and took advantage of more pressure at the top left and rounded in first. After gybing early however, Cutler would fall victim to those who extended to the right corner downwind and were able to lead into the gates. Holding on to take the win in impressive fashion was Andrea Ferrari on Spirit of Nerina, followed by Andrea Lacorte on Vitamina and Roberto Tomasini Grinover on Robertissima.
After another lengthy delay for the breeze to settle in between races, Race 8 began with another general recall and Z-flag. With the breeze attempting to clock to the comfortable 030 direction putting the right corner back into play, the boat once again was a popular place to be. With a clean start, Yukihiro Ishida’s Yasha Samurai got off clean at the boat and led to the right corner, followed by overnight leader Alessandro Rombelli’s Stig and the fashionable Filippo Pacinotti on Bronotolo HH. Gybe setting at the top mark, it looked like Ishida might have a chink in their armour with a ripped panel on their spinnaker, but they fended off Rombelli all the way around the track to take a well-deserved and much gratifying win.
Two races remain and Rombelli appears to have a solid grip on the Championship lead after Jason Carroll on Argo stumbled posting two disappointing scores. While only a few teams have a mathematical chance to clinch the title, the ball seems to be in Rombelli’s court. If they are able to post a top-three finish in the Race Nine, it would move the World Championship trophy and title a little closer to their grasp.
Sunday’s forecast is slightly more positive, however there is plenty of opportunity for anyone to post a deep score and take a tumble down the standings.
Results after Day 4: (top 10, 8 races, 1 discard)
1 Alessandro Rombelli/Francesco Bruni, Stig; 2-2-4-3-1--4-2 = 18pts
2 Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo; 4-3-1-2-4-4--15 = 33pts
3 Ryan DeVos/Mark Mendelblatt, Volpe; 3-4-8-14-9-2--5 = 45pts
4 Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima; 1--2-13-12-9-3-6 = 46pts
5 Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio/Branko Brcin, G-Spot; 12-10-5-1-7-1-15- = 51pts
6 Andrea Ferrari/Roberto Spata, Spirit of Nerina; 7-7--11-11-10-1-4 = 51pts
7 Yukihiro Ishida/Hamish Pepper, Yasha Samurai; 11-6-3-16--3-17-1 = 57pts
8 Keisuke Suzuki/Nicolai Sehested, Swing; 14-8-6-5-6-7-12- = 58pts
9 Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; 13-5-19-4-3--9-7 = 60pts
10 Filippo Pacinotti/Gabrio Zandona, Brontolo HH; 9--13-12-2-12-14-3 = 65pts
For full results see: melges32.com.
Photo © ACEA 2015 / Gilles Martin-Raget
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Gothenburg, Sweden
Oracle Team USA won both races on opening day at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Gothenburg.
But Land Rover BAR and Emirates Team New Zealand had good days as well with second and third place finishes respectively.
In fact both races saw the same teams in the same top three positions, meaning there isn’t much separation on the leaderboard.
“This was almost like a warm-up,” said Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill. “It’s all about tomorrow when the points are doubled – Super Sunday. But that being said, I’d rather be in our position. We’re sailing well, we’re confident, and we’ll be ready to go.”
His closest pursuer said quick starts allowed the winner to separate from the herd in both races and that was the difference.
“Oracle really sailed well, had great starts and it fell into place for them,” said Land Rover BAR skipper Ben Ainslie. “We kind of had to fight a little bit but I was really pleased with how the guys battled today.”
Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby called it a good day’s work, but he’ll be disappointed with the second race when Ben Ainslie slid past just meters from the finish line to steal second place.
“It was a tough one,” Ashby admitted. “We made a call not to use the Code Zero sail (a big downwind sail used in lighter winds). It was only the last couple minutes of the race where it would have paid off. But they had it up just when we sailed into the lighter pressure and they just pipped us at the end. But the race was fantastic and you could have thrown a blanket over both boats and had trouble picking who was going to get there.”
It was a difficult day for the hometown Artemis Racing who had a mid-fleet finish in the first race before going aground after the finish and damaging their foils. The team was able to sail the second race, but at reduced efficiency which impacted on their last place finish.
“This morning we said we just needed to have a solid day to be in the mix for the double points on Sunday. We didn’t really have much chance in the second race today, but everyone is still quite upbeat,” said skipper Nathan Outteridge.
“We made mistakes but it’s all about how you recover. We’ll get the boat fixed up and be ready for tomorrow.”
“To see so many spectators around the race course supporting us is pretty inspiring. We’ll come back tomorrow and try to put on a show for everyone.”
Racing resumes on Sunday at 1300 CET. Points are doubled for Sunday’s two raes.
Leaderboard: (after day one)
Oracle Racing USA – 20pts
Land Rover BAR – 18pts
Emirates Team New Zealand – 16pts
SoftBank Team Japan – 13pts
Artemis Racing – 12pts
Groupama Team France – 11pts
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Leaderboard:
Land Rover BAR – 37pts
Oracle Team USA – 36pts
Emirates Team New Zealand – 34pts
SoftBank Team Japan – 26pts
Groupama Team France – 24pts
Artemis Racing – 23pts
Photo © BPSE / MMelandri
Melges 32 World Championship at Trapani, Sicily
With six races complete and a discard in effect, the scoreboard gets a revamp with several Melges 32 teams climbing the ranks while others tumble
A high pressure system hung over Sicily for the start of the third day of racing at the 2015 Melges 32 World Championship Another weak northeast gradient lingered producing a 6-8 knot northerly wind, with the breeze dipping below class minimums on occasion. PRO Anderson Reggio exercised patience, eventually firing off two quality races.
The starting sequence for Race 5 witnessed several general recalls and a postponement due to lack of wind. The first start eventually got underway with a Z-flag in effect. It was a tough start for some as several teams were OCS and ended up having to take a harsh 20% penalty.
The boat end of the line was a popular spot to be and those who got off clean (and for some late), onto port tack early, headed for the right corner were able to take advantage of the stronger breeze funneling the Trapani city front. Melges 32 veteran Filippo Pacinotti and his fashionable Brontolo HH team took an early lead. Pacinotti lead a full lap but eventually succumbed to advances made by Alessandro Rombelli’s Stig. Rombelli proved the strength of his team by taking the win, Pacinotti settled for second. Dalton DeVos’ Delta showed solid determination after a brutal start, picking their way around the fleet to finish and impressive third.
Race 6 produced yet another challenging start featuring more general recall action and yet another Z-Flag start. With no boats OCS, the fleet was all clear and racing was as if it was on repeat – go from the boat to the right corner was the play of the day. Ryan DeVos’ Volpe started late at the boat, lead to the right and approached the top in good form. But it was Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s G-Spot who started slightly down from the boat end and blazed upwind on port tack, rounding first just in front of DeVos.
“Our plan was to start clean near the boat and get to the right corner. We did not think the current was as big of an advantage on the right side today, but the breeze did seem to be stronger,” commented crafty tactician Branko Brcin aboard G-Spot. “We also had some nice speed upwind too which certainly helped with battling boats around the race course.”
It was di Lapigio’s superior boat speed that ultimately granted him the win in Race 6. DeVos finished second, followed by Japan’s Yukihiro Ishida’s Yasha Samurai in third.
Winning the lone race on Day 2 and the final race today enabled di Lapigio to get a better grip on third place overall and reel in top leaders Rombelli and Jason Carroll on Argo just a little bit closer.
Despite posting an incredible all top-five finishes, Carroll dropped from first to second place now two points behind Rombelli. The skeleton in the closet is the eighteenth place finish that the Stig team posted in Race Six and now must maintain scoring perfection for the final four World Championship races.
The forecast for Saturday looks to be more promising. The fleet has its fingers crossed hoping for similar conditions to opening day.
2015 Melges 32 World Championship racing continues on Saturday for a fourth consecutive day in Trapani with a one o’clock start time (ET) and if the forecast holds, it will be a three race day.
Results after Day 3: (top ten, 6 races, full results here)
1 Alessandro Rombelli/Francesco Bruni, Stig; 2-2-4-3-1- = 12pts
2 Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo; -3-1-2-4-4 = 14pts
3 Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio/Branko Brcin, G-Spot; -10-5-1-7-1 = 24pts
4 Ryan DeVos/Mark Mendelblatt, Volpe; 3-4-8--9-2 = 26pts
5 Keisuke Suzuki/Nicolai Sehested, Swing; -8-6-5-6-7 = 32pts
6 Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima; 1--2-13-12-9 = 37pts
7 Richard Goransson/Mike Buckley, Inga From Sweden; -9-10-9-5-5 = 38pts
8 Yukihiro Ishida/Hamish Pepper, Yasha Samurai; 11-6-3-16--3 = 39pts
9 Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; 13-5-19-4-3- = 44pts
10 Andrea Ferrari/Roberto Spata, Spirit of Nerina; 7-7--11-11-10 = 46pts
By Melges 32 Class Association: melges32.com.
Two final races were completed in fresh conditions on Thursday at the Flying 15 World Champinships in Crozon on the Britanny coast of France with Graham Vials and Chris Turner successfully defending their world title.
This victory for Vials and Turner gives them a hat trick of Flying 15 World Championship titles.
Flying 15 – World Championship Top 10 (72 entries)
1 GBR 4004 Graham Vials / Chris Turner 1 2 1 1 1 6 DNS 76 12pts
2 GBR 3760 Jérémy Davy / Martin Huett 2 1 2 5 BFD 7 3 84 20pts
3 GBR 4030 Greg Wells / Richard Rigg 17 3 4 7 4 2 9 46 29pts
4 GBR 3998 Alan Bax / Mark Darling 3 5 7 4 8 15 4 46 31pts
5 GBR 4026 Charles Apthorp / Alan Green 7 7 OCS 12 6 1 2 99 35pts
6 GBR 4002 Andy Mckee / Rich Jones 4 17 3 3 3 10 19 59 40pts
7 GBR 3955 Richard Lovering / Matt Alvarado 11 14 5 2 2 16 7 57 41pts
8 GBR 3914 Mike Hart/ Tim Hall 22 10 8 9 7 8 5 69 47pts
9 GBR 4019 David Tabb/ Sherrell Chewey 5 6 6 16 10 20 10 73 53pts
10 GBR 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper 10 9 14 13 12 3 8 69 55pts
For full results see here
International Moth Europeans in Batavia Haven, Netherlands
Chris Rashley continues to dominate the International Moth European Championships with fellow Brits, Rob Greenhalgh in second and Jason Belben in third.
Four races were completed Friday and Rashley won three of them, while Rob Greenhalgh extended his run of second places and finished with a win in the final race, with Jason Belben taking the seond place and Rashley demoted to third.
These three, plus Paul Goodison, Dan Ward and Mike Lennon have filled the top five places in the races so far. Goodison dipped into double figures in race 5 to spoil his overall score and Lennon has twice been penalised for OCS starts, putting him down in 18th overall.
Benoit Marie of France remains in 7th place after the six leading Brits, Dutchman Eelco Boers is in eighth, the two Swiss competitors, David Holenweg ninth and Philip Kaesermann tenth.
Results: top 10 after 6 races (74 entries)
1 GBR 4 Chris Rashley 1 1 1 1 1 3 8,0 pts
2 GBR 4340 Robert Greenhalgh 2 2 2 2 2 1 11,0 pts
3 GBR 3942 Jason Belben, Master 4 3 5 5 3 2 22,0 pts
4 GBR 4341 Paul Goodison 3 5 3 3 10 4 28,0 pts
5 GBR 4251 Dan Ward 7 6 9 9 5 5 41,0 pts
6 GBR 3979 Dan Ellis 8 7 15 14 7 10 61,0 pts
7 FRA 3875 Benoit Marie 11 8 16 8 12 9 64,0 pts
8 NED 4074 Eelco Boers, Master 17 10 14 31 13 12 97,0 pts
9 SUI 3752 David Holenweg 20 13 18 11 16 19 97,0 pts
10 SUI 4189 Philip Kaesermann 16 14 17 22 18 17 104,0 pts
Tom Gillard & Richard Anderton – Photos © Lee Whitehead / www.photolounge.co.uk
Gul Fireball World Championships at Plas Heli
A stunning final day with no lack of drama
It is amazing how many really good adjectives, not to mention superlatives all start with an F. Most of these also work well either before or after the word Fireball. It is quite likely that the events of today out in Tremadog Bay will have created some new words, for this was a day that will go down in the history of the Class as ‘that day at Pwllheli’.
To recap on the situation; Birrell and Brearey topped the leader board, though this would change if the 9th Race was run (as this would bring the second discard into play and if Tom Gillard and Richard Anderton finished both races ahead of their rivals. The joker in the pack was the weather, as from the outset it was always going to be not only breezy, but bouncy. The shallow waters of the bay had been subjected to three consecutive days of brisk south westerlies and the fairest comment would be to say that as soon as you cleared the breakwater that lined the harbour, the waves were immediately apparent. The only question was if any racing would be possible and if so, one race or two.
Even as the fleet left the beach it was clear that some boats were turning straight back, having decided that discretion was the better part of valour (or a broken boat). But what, or rather, who, was this still on the beach long after the rest had departed. It was none other than Championship contenders Gillard and Anderton, who were up merde creek and without a jib halyard. On closer inspection, it was clear that the halyard had jumped the sheave and was hopelessly snagged. For a few desperate moments it looked as if a cruel twist of fate would decide the Championships, for with his Race 1 BFD, there was no slack in the system for Gillard if he were to miss either of the races. However, another ‘F’ adjective is friendly, as those on the beach turned to with assistance. A spare sheave was found and used to replace the damaged item, with Gillard and Anderton then dashing from beach to the start area. In the end they had more time than they thought as the Fireballs showed how the ‘love the sound of a recall in the morning’!
Peters & Sterrit – Photos © Lee Whitehead
At the second attempt they were away and it didn’t take long to see Peters and Sterritt, having started in their usual spot just up from the pin, were in clear air and flying. However, at the top of the beat it was Edwards and Townend who held a narrow margin that was about to get a good deal bigger. As crews reached the windward mark, they had the 100m beam reach to the spreader, but this far up the course the waves could be unforgiving. With Fynn Sterritt still in beating mode on the wire, a wave caught them and for a moment it looked as if the pair were going to capsize in front of the whole fleet. Sometimes luck is on your side, that and a last ditch effort to save the situation saw them lose just two places. Gillard was there on hand, as were the Australians, all set off down the run together. You didn’t need wind instruments to know that it was getting windier, as it was still cloudy with occasional sunny spells. When the sun shone things looked dramatic, with the waters of the bay flecked with white; when the sun went behind the clouds everything went grey and the race course was starting to look ugly. A rudder went, then a mast. For some, it was time to go home! Peters and Sterritt had clearly learnt their lesson, as not only had they regained the lost ground but would be able to squeeze inside of Edwards as they rounded the top mark for the second time. Gillard and the other two boats would hang in there, with the first 4 boats finishing within 40 seconds; Peters, Gillard, Edwards and Birrell. Not so happy would be the Australian duo of Schultz and Sheppard, who mistook the set up for the finishing line; in trying to unwind their error the pair capsized and would lose a number of places before sorting themselves out.
For the last race of the Championships, at long last the picture was clear. Only a win would do for Birrell and Brearey and even then, they needed Gillard to be fourth or worse. As predicted, the wind had freshened further and was now steady around 24 knots. The sunny periods had now become unbroken, strong sun, which added to the atmosphere of the ‘grand finale’ setting. Away first time, it now became clear just how the seas had built. All week left seemed to have paid, but there was a chance that by going right, boats might get a smoother ride. At the top mark once again it was Peters and Gillard and for a moment it looked as if Peters had blown it, being just below the lay line. Having to tack and tack again is never easy, in those conditions; it was a masterful performance to still sneak through.
PRO Peter Saxton had wisely set another sausage-triangle-sausage course, as even the front runners found the reaches demanding in the extreme. It is a peculiar feature of the Fireball hull that in these conditions, with the boat screaming along at maximum speed, that the bow transom was hitting the waves, creating an arc of spray that projected forward of the boat and in some cases, forming a perfect rainbow around the front of the boat. But, at the same time, this was the warning that you were about an inch away from burying the bow into the next wave; there were not that many who survived a full speed nose dive without the subsequent swim! In these conditions the boat speed of the Hyde/Watermark set up of Peters and Sterritt was at times extraordinary as they turned their advantage into another horizon job. Behind them the next three places were an exact re-run of the previous race, with second being more than enough to see Tom Gillard and Richard Anderton crowned as the new World Champions. With three wins in the last four races, Peters would tie with Birrell in the overall points, but would get the runners up spot.
Photos © Lee Whitehead / www.photolounge.co.uk
Gillard and Anderton now add the world title to their success the week before in the Nationals and are the worthy, rightful winners. They had superb offwind speed and could point to being quick in all conditions. Had it not been for their BFD in Race 1, they could have eased their way through the week. Instead, that result, followed up by an uncharacteristic 10th, kept them on the back foot until the final day. The now deposed reigning champions, Christian Birrell and Sam Brearey were always there but just lacked that final 1% extra that Gillard seemed to enjoy. And what of the runners up? James and Fynn had an extended break in their 49er campaign between the Europeans in Porto and the Worlds in Rio. As with some of the other top 49er teams, they’ve wisely chosen to do other events and had the whole week been windy, it is hard to see anyone stopping their relentless onslaught on the top position.
A full overview of the Fireball fortnight will be posted shortly, but this has been a really classic event of high drama, top class racing, superb race management all wrapped together by the staff of Plas Heli who managed to deliver an event that could be said to have enjoyed a real ‘character’. Not only have the Fireball class enjoyed their time in North Wales, here in the UK and abroad, there will be a legacy of renewed interest in the fantastic boat.
Overall Results: (Top 10)
|1||GBR||15127||Tom Gillard||Richard Anderton||(BFD)||1||‑10||1||3||1||2||1||2||2||13|
|2||GBR||15129||James Peters||Fynn Sterritt||‑28||4||4||6||1||2||1||‑13||1||1||20|
|3||GBR||15107||Christian Birrell||Sam Brearey||1||2||‑12||3||2||3||3||2||‑4||4||20|
|4||GBR||15096||DJ Edwards||Vyv Townend||2||‑10||2||2||4||4||‑7||4||3||3||24|
|5||GBR||15089||Ian Dobson||Ben Ainsworth||3||3||‑11||5||7||6||4||6||‑9||5||39|
|6||GBR||15120||Vince Horey||Robert Gardner||‑14||5||9||9||6||5||11||9||6||(DNC)||60|
|7||GBR||15094||Jonny McGovern||Max Todd||16||16||7||‑19||5||(DNF)||6||5||5||6||66|
|8||GBR||15123||Matt Burge||Richard Wagstaff||11||9||3||10||14||8||8||8||‑45||(DNC)||71|
|9||FRA||14917||Rémy Thuillier||Mathieu Corruble||6||‑17||8||12||10||13||14||12||‑24||8||83|
|10||AUS||15062||Ben Schulz||Doug Sheppard||‑34||21||27||(DSQ)||8||7||5||3||8||7||86|
For full results see: www.fireballworlds2015.com
By David Henshall