One race day

Uka Uka bounces back at the Melges 32 racing in Santa Margherita Ligure

Saturday September 6th 2008, Author: Justin Chisholm, Location: United Kingdom
The wind gods dealt the Santa Margherita Ligure edition of the 2008 Audi Sailing Series a cruel hand today, providing only enough wind for a single race to be sailed on day two of the regatta. That race started in around ten knots of breeze with a confused sea state once again making life difficult for the helmsmen. A second race was attempted, but had to be abandoned when the wind almost disappeared completely.
 
Claudio Recchi at the helm of Lorenzo Santini’s Uka Uka bounced back from a disappointing seventh in yesterday’s final race to take a comfortable win in today’s only completed race. Meanwhile, Fausto Rubbini at the helm of Thule, consolidated his place at the top of the leaderboard with a second place this morning. Luigi Melegari’s Matrix recorded their best result of the regatta so far by taking third place.
 
In the fading breeze and difficult chop, the key to success appeared to be to focus solely on maximising boatspeed around the course. This meant sacrificing pointing ability upwind and keeping your wind clear down the runs. Race winner Recchi commented afterwards: "It was a nice race for us. We started well and led around every mark. However with the wind and waves as they were, we could never relax as it would have been easy to lose places at any point on the course".
 
Newcomer to the Melges 32 fleet Carlo Alberini, a well known name on the Farr 40 and Mumm 30 circuits is enjoying his first taste of the class despite finishing down the order aboard Calvi Network today: "For me the gennaker is difficult to get used to after so long sailing with conventional spinnakers, but I think the boats are great and this class is clearly the future for one design keelboat racing". In fact Alberini is so impressed that he has already signed up to compete on the 2009 Melges 32 European circuit.
 
With two races now lost in the eight race series it is likely that the race committee will bring the start of tomorrow’s final day of racing forward in an effort to catch up some of the deficit. The scene is set for an on the water showdown between Thule and Uka Uka who are separated by only one point at the top of the table. However with the possibility of three races still to be sailed, there are several other teams who still have a say in who will win the regatta.

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