Strong start for Pilot Italia

1-2 for Alberto Bolzan/Gianni Catalogna after day one of the Volvo Melges 24 World Championship in Sardinia

Monday June 2nd 2008, Author: Fiona Brown, Location: United Kingdom
The Volvo Melges 24 World Championship, hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, got off to a challenging start today with the 114 strong fleet from 16 nations completing two of twelve scheduled races. The large number of competitors means that the fleet must be divided across two race courses. The fleet has been split into four groups and will sail a six race Round Robin series with each group racing the others twice to identify the Gold and Silver fleets for the final six races of the series.

Today’s two races were extremely tough with winds ranging from under 5 to almost 20 knots with massive shifts, big holes in some areas and mini squalls under the clouds in others. There were regular rain showers across the course initially but conditions did improve later with the second race finishing in sunshine. Race Committee member Wayne Bretsch gave an example of just how extreme the conditions were saying. "Between races the weather mark boat was reporting 18-20 knots from around 115 degrees, but at the committee boat end we had as little as 5 knots from 060 degrees. We waited, tried to start, postponed relatively fast, could see the wind on the water that the weather mark boat was reporting and waited for it to hit us, which it did with a vengeance at about 18 knots from 125°. It was a rough day for the competitors and it was a rough day for the race committee and the mark boats. The mark guys in particular did an outstanding job of reporting wind and putting marks in very accurately at short notice.”

Overall Italy’s Alberto Bolzan, helming Gianni Catalogna’s ITA727 Pilot Italia, leads the regatta with an impressive 2, 1 score-line proving that his victory in the Pre-Worlds competition was no fluke. Norway’s Olympic Bronze Medallist (Soling/Sydney) Herman Horn-Johannessen sailing NOR732 Rett Rundt Hjornet lies three points behind in second. Reigning Melges 24 North American Champion Brian Porter of Chicago, IL, aboard USA649 Full Throttle, and Swiss America’s Cup sailor Jean-Marc Monnard, in SUI599 Poizon Rouge, share third place on eight points. Britain’s Jamie Lea, helming GBR691 Team Barbarians for Stuart Simpson is one point behind them in fifth.

In the Corinthian Division, for the all amateur teams, Oyvind Peder Jahre, sailing NOR 554 Terra Eindomsmeglng for Stian Briseid, leads the fleet and lies 17th in the overall competition. Second Corinthian is Rudolf Houdek in GER731 Secret Men's Business, with joint 2006 Corinthian Melges 24 World Champion Jean-Francois Cruette, helming FRA612 for Cedric De Kervenoel third.

After racing Alberto Bolzan, Melges 24 World Champion 2006 as tactician for Nicola Celon and IMS World Champion to name but two of his many victories, summed up the day perfectly: "It was a difficult day. We were very lucky. We made good choices today and Pietro [d'Ali, tactician] is fantastic and did not miss a tack. We finished second place in the first race and won the second race. Because there was a lot of wind shifts, and sometimes the wind was strong and at other times it was light. It was very difficult as one second you could gain a lot and the next moment you could lose a lot so we were very lucky. The crew was perfect and the boat is very fast and we are very determined in the sea."

Fifth-placed Jamie Lea reinforced Bolzan’s comments saying "We had a good start in the first race. We managed to tack onto port early, as it was the thing to do because the wind went right. Really good speed up the first beat then crossed on the little shift at the top, which put us in front. It was very shifty at the top. Big ups and downs, so we were changing gears a lot. It was a good solid day. The level of competition is exactly where we expected it to be and more. There are about 20-30 boats out there that are really. We are just going to keep plugging away at it."

Two further races are planned tomorrow with racing due to start at 11:30. The 12 race series runs until Friday 6 June.

Top 50 results:

Pos Boat Helmsman/Owner Sail no R1 R2 Tot
1 PILOT ITALIA Alberto Bolzan/Gianni Catalogna ITA 727 2 1 3
2 RETT RUNDT HJORNET Herman Horn/Team Rett Rundt Hjornet NOR 732 4 2 6
3 FULL THROTTLE Brian Porter/Brian Porter USA 649 5 3 8
4 POIZON ROUGE Jean/Jean-Marc Monnard SUI 599 3 5 8
5 TEAM BARBARIANS Jamie Lea/Stuart Simpson GBR 691 1 8 9
6 COTES D'ARMOR Ronan Dreano/Troel Simon FRA 470 2 9 11
7 ONLINE -SIM FIREBOLT Roberto Martinez/Carla Ubertalli ITA 574 9 2 11
8 BLU MOON Flavio Favini/Franco Rossini SUI 521 11 5 16
9 UKA UKA RACING Lorenzo Bressani/Lorenzo Santini ITA 715 10 6 16
10 BRONTOLO AB MEDICA Matteo Ivaldi/Filippo Pacinotti ITA 667 6 13 19
11 TERRA EINDOMSMEGLNG Oyvind Peder Jahre/Stian Briseid NOR 554 15 4 19
12 MAIDOLLIS Giovanni Pizzatti/Gian Luca Perego ITA 664 8 12 20
13 PROXIMO Arpad Litkey/Xsailing HUN 728 17 3 20
14 BOUYGUES TELECOM Cruette/De Kervenoael FRA 612 7 16 23
15 GULLISARA  Carlo Fracassoli/Comerio Giuseppe ITA 673 3 20 23
16 GIVE ME FIVE Adrien Follin/GM5 Racing Team FRA 451 18 7 25
17 ROCAD RACING Mikael Lindqvist/Ingemar Sundstedt SWE 532 13 12 25
18 SECRET MEN'S BUSINESS  Houdek Rudolf/Houdek Rudolf GER 731 14 11 25
19 EURO-VOILE Christophe Barrue/Denis Infante FRA 639 16 10 26
20 GAZOO Doug Clark/Geoffery Pierini USA 551 17 9 26
21 SAETTA Nicolo Bianchi/Nose Sailing Team Ass. Sport ITA 716 27 1 28
22 ZIG ZAG Henri Samuel/Henri Samuel FRA 644 12 17 29
23 ALINA HELLY HANSEN Luca Valerio/Maurizio Abba ITA 722 1 30 31
24 LENNY Tonu Toniste/Tonu Toniste EST 646 24 8 32
25 A-TEAM WESTAWAY John Pollard/John Pollard GBR 690 5 28 33
26 ETABETA Luca Bursic/Paolo Testolin ITA 730 29 4 33
27 MARGARITA Jakub Kozelsky/Petr Matuska CZE 704 12 22 34
28 MU Emmanuel Nebout/Emmanuel Nebout FRA 471 10 24 34
29 ALFA SPIDER Gabriele Benussi/Vanni Edoardo Pavesio ITA 742 25 10 35
30 CONTE OF FLORENCE Andrea Magni/Arturo Mazzanti ITA 567 16 19 35
31 PERROS-GUIREC  Albaret/srPerros FRA 261 25 11 36
32 TRESVALLES.COM.AR Benoit Cheron . FRABC1/Benoit Charon FRA 381 14 23 37
33 WOLFPACK RACING TEAM Geir Dhal Andersen/Team Lek NOR 733 6 32 38
34 CODE ZERO Geoff Carveth/Miles Quinton GBR 654 26 14 40
35 MELLNOSE  Pablo Soldano/Pablo Soldano ITA 609 27 13 40
36 O\'TOMATE Lebourdais/Paul Coirre FRA 375 23 19 42
37 ALTEA  Andrea Racchelli/Andrea Racchelli ITA 735 36 7 43
38 SEVENSTAR SLAM  Simon Straus/Simon Straus GBR 592 29 14 43
39 SNUGASABUG  Regis Bouyer/Sebastien Mathieus FRA 370 13 25 43
40 MONSOON  Bruce Ayres/Bruce Ayres USA 637 20 24 44
41 HOOCHY COOCHY Carlo Vroon/Carlo Vroon NED 117 31 15 46
42 FISHDOG  Mario Ziliani/Augusto Viansson Ponte ITA 571 41 6 47
43 KA-NALU-NUI Gunter Tzeschlock/Gunter Tzeschlock GER 640 11 37 48
44 JOEFLY Gabrio Zandona/Giovanni Maspero ITA 633 22 27 49
45 MACS Dietrich Scheder/Dietrich Scheder Bieschin GER 537 34 15 49
46 SWEATY BETTY  Stephen Alex Shafer/Stephen Shafer USA 677 9 40 49
47 PROFIL Bruno Jourdren/Bruno Jourdren FRA 756 31 20 51
48 ACQUA Matthias Keller/Gianluca Tribo SUI 530 23 29 52
49 RODOP Lucas Neumann/Martin Kulik CZE 692 15 38 53
50 UNSPONSORED Kridine Wagner/Wieland Christof GER 320 37 16 53

More photos on the following pages...

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