Three points in it

Joe Fly takes up the lead at the Ocean BMW Melges Europeans but cops a penalty in the process

Thursday September 22nd 2005, Author: Fiona Brown, Location: United Kingdom
"Like the most difficult game of snakes and ladders you could possibly imagine" was how Stuart Simpson of Team Barbarians described today's racing at the Ocean BMW Melges 24 European Championship in Torquay.

"Big fleet Melges 24 sailing is as tough as it gets, particularly in these light conditions. The boats accelerate rapidly and if you miss a shift or mess up a manoeuvre you're history" he conlcuded.

Three more races were sailed today, making eight of the twelve scheduled, and just three points now separate the four leading boats. Stuart Rix, helming Gill for Quentin Struass, and Gabrio Zandona, helming Joe Fly for Giovanni Maspero, are tied in first on 40 points. Andrea Racchelli sailing Altea is on 42 points and Francois Brenac, sailing with Phillipe Ligot's Partner & Partners Sailing Team, is on 43.

Last night the Race Committee reported the Joe Fly Team to the Jury for infringing the rules controlling support boats in the race area. The Jury found that the Joe Fly support boat had broken the rules and imposed a 20% penalty to the result of that race (race 5), which cannot be excluded from their overall score. As a result Joe Fly's score in race five went from 5 to 15 points.

Today's racing brought more very tricky conditions. There was a short delay in starting as the wind filled in from around south-southwest and its strength then varied constantly from 4 to 8 knots. Joe Fly was the most consistent performer with a 1, 4, 2 score. Thanks to a disastrous start Gill opened with a 19th, their worst result of the regatta so far, but improved as the day wore on with 12th and 3rd. Altea was consistent with 8, 10, 6 to stay firmly in contention, whilst for Partner & Partners everything in the garden was rosy with a 2nd and 1st, until the final race when they were caught up in another start line ruckus from which they could only get back up to 18th.

In the Corinthian Division, for all amateur crews, Germany's Alba Batzill is heading the fleet. He had a mixed set of results today with a 9th and 26th followed by a very close win in the final race. He'd led the fleet from start to finish but had a real tussle with Joe Fly on the final run and only just held them off. Batzill is also lying fifth in the overall results but the 22 point gap between him and the leaders puts him out of serious contention for the main trophy. Batzill's nearest contenders for the Corinthian Trophy are Antoine Albaret and Jermoe Aubert.

With two days and four races to go the Championship remains wide open with four crews battling for pole position. Tomorrow forecast is uncertain with pundits offering either more of the same light airs or a building breeze, we wait with baited breath!

Helm Pts R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8
1 ITA550 Joe Fly Zandona Gabrio 40 3 31 2 13 15 1 4 2
2 GBR431 Gill Stuart Rix 40 9 5 7 3 1 19 12 3
3 ITA438 Altea Andrea Racchelli 41 4 2 11 8 3 8 10 6
4 FRA571 Partner & Partners Francois Brenac 42 1 11 14 7 6 2 1 18
5 GER582 No Woman No Cry Alba Bazrill 64 32 1 9 1 17 9 26 1
6 FRA387 Douarn-Mason Vincent Sauleau 68 11 21 5 6 30 7 11 7
7 FRA261 Cotes d'Armour Perros Guirec Antoine Albaret 74 8 9 1 33 18 3 23 12
8 FRA193 Cotes d'Armor Vincent Biarnes 77 13 17 6 2 9 21 13 17
9 FRA173 Au Planning Jerome Aubert 77 24 14 3 18 13 14 6 9
10 FRA422 Dyneema-Liros Remy Arnaud 89 19 23 10 19 7 6 5 24
11 GBR406 Team Barbarians Jamie Lea 90 2 3 30 29 4 15 7 37
12 FRA470 Cotes d'Armor Sail de Mer Thomas Rouxel 94 6 4 51 4 29 24 8 19
13 SUI599 PoiZon Rouge Jean-Marc Monnard 109 10 15 36 39 2 20 22 4
14 GBR516 Highland Heritage Paul Brotherton 110 17 51 21 10 27 11 16 8
15 MON601 Sogeti Antoine Frickey 111 14 13 18 51 10 17 18 21
16 GBR573 Xcellent John Pollard 114 34 28 16 51 16 4 2 14
17 ITA297 Pioneer Investments Andrea Formaro 116 18 38 12 21 23 16 21 5
18 GBR334 Easy Tiger Tim Collins 118 42 8 19 5 21 28 3 34
19 GBR535 March Hare Mike Henning 123 43 10 4 15 25 25 24 20
20 FRA358 Dottore Jigolo P Y Lambert 123 37 6 32 42 8 13 17 10
21 NOR341 Dolly Erik Arthur 126 40 20 17 14 15 18 20 22
22 AUT531 EdelweiB Michael Schineis 129 5 29 13 51 32 12 9 29
23 GBR546 Helmut Rises Again Nigel Grogan 132 16 18 27 11 14 27 19 33
24 FRA423 Zig Zag 15 Henri Samuel 146 7 19 24 12 33 30 28 26
25 GBR368 Team Turn-Turtle.com Alan Brown 147 15 24 15 36 11 35 34 13
26 GBR527 Comfortably Numb Simon Dobson 156 20 26 20 26 20 31 14 30
27 FIN476 Suunto Kennet Thelen 159 41 7 23 32 12 29 15 51
28 GBR269 Ali 2 Ann Ashworth 164 25 12 33 16 22 26 30 36
29 FRA383 Merck Generique Jean-Marc Sparfel 178 22 16 25 22 45 22 31 40
30 FRA461 Euro-Voiles Christophe Barrue 186 12 42 8 43 34 23 39 28
31 GBR611 WKD Red Joe Woods 197 21 22 26 44 24 40 37 27
32 GBR548 Team Panasonic Adrian Peach 204 38 51 41 28 39 5 38 15
33 GBR589 Badger Paul Lovejoy 206 49 34 35 40 36 10 35 16
34 FRA473 Gybe Set Oliver Gellez 212 23 37 37 9 44 32 33 41
35 SUI382 Zerowo/e-brokerline.com Michael Good 214 45 33 31 51 28 39 27 11
36 FRA471 Mu Emmanuel Nebout 218 31 36 22 24 38 42 42 25
37 NOR279 Marella V Nils Nordenstroem 222 35 35 39 31 31 33 25 32
38 NOR349 Party Girl Jens Wathne 227 29 32 28 17 19 51 51 51
39 SUI578 Music 55 Ruedi Huber 230 33 27 49 34 35 38 32 31
40 GBR403 Envy Dean Argent 232 30 41 34 23 26 44 43 35
41 GBR432 Wolf Cub Glyn Williams 233 28 25 38 51 40 43 36 23
42 GBR452 Eric's Mate Martin Wedge 250 27 51 46 20 48 37 29 43
43 GBR340 White Rabbit Simon Henning 258 50 40 29 25 37 34 46 47
44 GBR453 Ramshackle Paul Owen 267 26 43 42 27 43 49 40 46
45 GBR534 Hooligan Norman Broom 269 39 39 43 30 42 36 41 42
46 GBR377 Henri Lloyd Tony Jaffa 292 46 30 45 45 51 41 47 38
47 GBR478 www.formulacars.co.uk Tim Jones 300 36 46 47 35 46 46 48 44
48 SUI270 Boorinsla Ann-Kathrin Hoh 303 47 44 40 38 41 48 49 45
49 FRA272 Speed'eau Antoine Jeu 314 44 51 44 37 49 47 45 48
50 MLT435 Wild Thing David S Franks 316 48 51 48 41 51 45 44 39

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