One point separation

Italian boats dominate at the Ocean BMW Melges 24 Europeans

Friday September 23rd 2005, Author: Fiona Brown, Location: United Kingdom
Racing on the penultimate day of the Ocean BMW Melges 24 European Championship was as challenging and hard fought as ever and tomorrow's final race will decide the winner in this hugely competitive and high scoring regatta. The day opened with more light airs from the southsouthwest, but gradually the wind built as the sun burnt off the haze. By the final race it was up to 10-12 knots with everyone fully powered upwind but not quite able to plane downwind.

It was all change on the scoreboard as crews battled the shifts, the tides and each other. Overall Andrea Racchelli, sailing Altea, has now moved into the lead on 55 points with Gabrio Zandona, helming Joe Fly for Giovanni Maspero, snapping at his heels on 56 points. Stuart Rix, helming Gill for Quentin Strauss, has dropped down into third on 62 points whilst Alba Batzill, sailing for Eddy Eich aboard No Woman No Cry, moves up into fourth and continues to lead the Corinthian Division with 72 points.

For overnight joint leader Gill the day started badly with a 19th in race nine. A mediocre start was compounded by a couple of bad calls on the first beat leaving them 23rd at the first mark with only limited opportunities for recovery. They went on to take secoin race ten and then won the final race of the day by an impressive margin. Fellow overnight leader Joe Fly's game plan was clearly a conservative one. Three moderate starts saw them round the three first marks in 12th, 18th and 13th respectively, but smart sailing gained them places on virtually every leg and they came home with two 5ths and a 6th to add to their haul. Aboard Altea, Racchelli was also taking no chances as his 4, 7, 3 score shows. He managed to avoid the many start line scrums, got away cleanly and never dropped below 9th spot at any time during the day.

Old-master Alba Batzill was the day's most consistent performer with two seconds and a fourth. He got an excellent start in race nine and led at the first mark but the up and coming young Michael Henning with his crew of young pretenders were in hot pursuit. Henning got the better of him on the first run then put in a bravado performance to keep the double Olympic and reigning 6m World Champion behind him. Henning, who previously sailed aboard his father's Melges 24 and is running his own championship campaign for the first time this week, also took a 5th in the eleventh race and moved up seven places to 12th overall and sixth Corinthian.

For the French Partner & Partners Sailing Team, helmed by Francois Brenac, it was a disappointing day. They opened with a seventh but then had a couple of bad starts and ended up 24th in race ten and 14th in race 11. Despite this they remain happy bunnies as their goal for this regatta, their first in over a year, was to make the top ten and they hold fifth going into the final race.

Jamie Lea, helming Barbarians for Britain's Stuart Simpson, troubled the front of the fleet for the first time, winning race nine from Batzill with fellow Brit John Pollard, helming Westaway Sails in third. Lea and Pollard, both more used to heading the Melges 24 fleet, have struggled to find form at this event and find themselves in 11th and 15th respectively.

In the Corinthian Division Batzill has it sewn up. Antoine Albaret is lying second with Thomas Rouzel third, Jerome Aubert fourth and Remy Arnaud fifth.

The final race of the series is scheduled to start at 1100 tomorrow and the wind gods are finally promising to deliver 20 knots from the west so we look set for a nail biting last race show down in perfect Melges 24 sailing conditions!

Overall results:

Pos Boat Sail No Owner Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 R11 Tot
1 Altea ITA438 Andrea Racchelli Andrea Racchelli 4 2 11 8 3 8 10 6 4 7 3 55
2 Joe Fly ITA550 Giovanni Maspro Zandona Gabrio 3 31 2 13 15 1 4 2 5 5 6 56
3 Gill GBR431 Quentin Strauss Stuart Rix 9 5 7 3 1 19 12 3 19 2 1 62
4 No Woman No Cry GER582 Eddy Eich Alba Bazrill 32 1 9 1 17 9 26 1 2 4 2 72
5 Partner & Partners FRA571 Philliipe Ligot Francois Brenac 1 11 14 7 6 2 1 18 7 24 14 81
6 Cotes d'Armour Perros Guirec FRA261 CDVH Antoine Albaret 8 9 1 33 18 3 23 12 15 3 10 102
7 Douarn-Mason FRA387 Winches Club Vincent Sauleau 11 21 5 6 29 7 11 7 9 10 23 110
8 Cotes d'Armor Sail de Mer FRA470 CDVH Thomas Rouxel 6 4 16 4 51 24 8 19 17 6 15 119
9 Au Planning FRA173 Jerome Aubert Jerome Aubert 24 14 3 18 13 14 6 9 41 17 4 122
10 Dyneema-Liros FRA422 Remy Arnaud Remy Arnaud 19 23 10 19 7 6 5 24 10 8 22 129
11 Xcellent GBR573 John Pollard John Pollard 34 28 17 51 16 4 2 14 3 9 16 143
12 March Hare GBR535 Simon Henning Mike Henning 43 10 4 15 25 25 24 20 1 16 5 145
13 Highland Heritage GBR516 Ian Cleaver Paul Brotherton 17 51 22 10 27 11 16 8 8 14 13 146
14 Cotes d'Armor FRA193 CDVH Vincent Biarnes 13 17 6 2 9 21 13 17 44 22 28 148
15 Team Barbarians GBR406 Stuart Simpson Jamie Lea 2 3 31 29 4 15 7 37 32 1 25 149
16 PoiZon Rouge SUI599 Jean-Marc Monnard Jean-Marc Monnard 10 15 37 39 2 20 42 4 16 13 7 163
17 Easy Tiger GBR334 Tim Collins Tim Collins 42 8 20 5 21 27 3 34 13 30 9 170
18 Sogeti MON601 Benjamin Cohen Antoine Frickey 14 13 19 51 10 17 18 21 38 18 8 176
19 Pioneer Investments ITA297 Igino Angelini Andrea Formaro 18 38 12 21 23 16 21 5 33 15 21 185
20 Dottore Jigolo FRA358 Douchy & Marcadet P Y Lambert 37 6 33 42 8 13 17 10 12 29 20 185
21 Dolly NOR341 Per Andresen Erik Arthur 40 20 18 14 15 18 20 22 29 11 18 185
22 Zig Zag 15 FRA423 Henri Samuel Henri Samuel 7 19 25 12 32 29 28 26 11 20 19 196
23 Suunto FIN476 Henrik Thelen Kennet Thelen 41 7 24 32 12 23 15 51 14 19 11 198
24 Comfortably Numb GBR527 Andrew Dellow/Simon Dobson Simon Dobson 20 26 21 26 20 30 14 30 28 12 12 209
25 Helmut Rises Again GBR546 Nigel Grogan Nigel Grogan 16 18 28 11 14 51 19 33 18 31 24 212
26 EdelweiB AUT531 Michael Schineis Michael Schineis 5 29 13 51 31 12 9 29 35 23 38 224
27 Team Turn-Turtle.com GBR368 A Brown, B Cooper, G Birbeck Alan Brown 15 24 15 36 11 34 34 13 20 33 30 229
28 Ali 2 GBR269 Joe Woods Ann Ashworth 25 12 34 16 22 26 30 36 27 27 32 251
29 Euro-Voiles FRA461 Denis Infante Christophe Barrue 12 42 8 43 33 23 39 28 22 51 29 279
30 Zerowo/e-brokerline.com SUI382 Michael Good Michael Good 45 33 32 51 28 38 27 11 21 34 17 286
31 Badger GBR589 Paul Lovejoy Paul Lovejoy 49 34 36 40 35 10 35 16 26 21 36 289
32 WKD Red GBR611 Joe Woods Joe Woods 21 22 27 44 24 39 37 27 24 39 33 293
33 Merck Generique FRA383 Jean-Marc Sparfel Jean-Marc Sparfel 22 16 26 22 44 22 31 40 40 35 42 296
34 Party Girl NOR349 Jens Wathne Jens Wathne 29 32 29 17 19 51 51 51 6 36 27 297
35 Team Panasonic GBR548 Adrian Peach Adrian Peach 38 51 42 28 38 5 38 15 31 26 37 298
36 Gybe Set FRA473 Anne Gellez Oliver Gellez 23 37 38 9 43 31 33 41 37 37 35 321
37 Marella V NOR279 Nils Nordenstroem Nils Nordenstroem 35 35 40 31 30 32 25 32 30 42 41 331
38 Music 55 SUI578 Ruedi Huber Ruedi Huber 33 27 50 34 34 37 32 31 45 28 34 335
39 Mu FRA471 Emmanuel Nebout Emmanuel Nebout 31 36 23 24 37 41 42 25 42 41 46 342
40 Envy GBR403 Martin Miller Dean Argent 30 41 35 23 26 43 43 35 23 45 45 344
41 Wolf Cub GBR432 Glyn Williams Glyn Williams 28 25 39 51 39 42 36 23 48 38 31 349
42 Eric's Mate GBR452 Martin Wedge Martin Wedge 27 51 47 20 47 36 29 43 36 40 39 364
43 White Rabbit GBR340 Simon Henning Simon Henning 50 40 30 25 36 33 46 47 39 25 47 368
44 Hooligan GBR534 Norman Broom Norman Broom 39 39 44 30 41 35 41 42 46 32 40 383
45 Ramshackle GBR453 Steve Williams/Dave Farrimond Paul Owen 26 43 43 27 42 48 40 46 50 44 49 408
46 Wild Thing MLT435 David S Franks David S Franks 48 51 49 41 51 44 44 39 25 51 26 418
47 Henri Lloyd GBR377 Tony Jaffa Tony Jaffa 46 30 46 45 51 40 47 38 43 46 43 424
48 www.formulacars.co.uk GBR478 Tim & Steve Jones Tim Jones 36 46 48 35 45 45 48 44 49 43 44 434
49 Speed'eau FRA272 Antoine Jeu Antoine Jeu 44 51 45 37 48 46 45 48 34 47 48 442
50 Boorinsla SUI270 August Schram Ann-Kathrin Hoh 47 44 41 38 40 47 49 45 47 48 50 446

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