Blu Moon shows early form

Only one race of Melges 24 Pre-Worlds held due to strong winds

Saturday August 26th 2006, Author: Fiona Brown, Location: France
Sadly only one of the two scheduled days of racing at the Hyeres Cup, the Melges 24 Pre-Worlds Regatta in Hyeres, France, could be completed due to strong Mistral winds, leaving the fleet with just two races to count. Fortunately Friday's racing conditions were almost perfect at a steady 22-25 knots giving the boats plenty of high speed planing opportunities as well as some entertaining broaches for the spectators to enjoy. This fleet is full of Olympians, World Champions and America's Cup sailors and despite the fact that not all of the crews were ready to compete in this Pre-Worlds event the teams gave notice that competition will be incredibly close.

Franco Rossini's Blu Moon of Switzerland, helmed by Olympic 470 and 49er sailor Chris Rast, posted two impressive first placed to take the overall title comfortably. The Blu Moon team, with previous helm Flavio Favini, won the Melges 24 Worlds in 2001 and clearly have their sights set on a second victory. Second place went to Britain's John Pollard aboard Excellent with four time British National Melges 24 Champion Rob Smith calling tactics. Pollard has been an consistent performer in the class on both sides of the Atlantic for several years but has yet to get his name on a major trophy and is clearly hoping that this year will bring a change in fortunes. First French boat and third place overall was claimed by Benoit Charon aboard Galinette. Charon hails from Granville and his best result in an international Melges 24 regatta to date has been third place in the Corinthian (all amateur crew) division at the 2005 European Championship.

The crews have a final registration and measurement opportunity tomorrow morning and, provided the Mistral abates, championship racing will commence at noon tomorrow, Sunday 27 August. The fleet will initially be split into four groups to sail six round robin races to decide the Gold and Silver fleets. Once the fleets are split a further six races will be sailed to complete the championship.

Results:

1: "Blu Moon" Rossini Franco (2 pts) Suisse. (1,1,)
2: "Excellent" Pollard John (6 pts) Grande-Bretagne. (4,2,)
3: "Galinette" Charon Benoit (14 pts) Y C de Granville (5,9,)
4: "Poizon Rouge" Monnard Jean Marc (17 pts) Suisse. (11,6,)
5: "Big Schip Quantrun" Paul Maxime (19 pts) Y C de la Pointe Rouge (9,10,)
6: "Give Me Five" Follin Adrien (25 pts) Cercle Org Yachting Competition Hyerois (18,7,)
7: "Euro Voiles" Infante Denis (26 pts) Cercle Org Yachting Competition Hyerois (7,19,)
8: "Cotes D'armar - An Port Blanc" le Goic Gaetan (26 pts) A E V de Port Blanc (12,14,)
9: "Nantes St Nazaire" Arnaud Remy (28 pts) A P C C Nantes (17,11,)
10: "Fr Environnement Nautique" Jourdren Bruno (29 pts) Club Nautique Carantec (21,8,)
11: "Cotes D'armor Peros Guirec" Albaret Antoine (33 pts) S R Perros Guirec (20,13,)
12: "Mojito" Quinton Miles (39 pts) Grande-Bretagne. (27,12,)
13: "Mas Amantes 608" Vallivero Renato (39 pts) Italie. (22,17,)
14: "White Rabbit" Henning Simon (41 pts) Grande-Bretagne. (26,15,)
15: "Taboo" Pugh Stephen (46 pts) Etats Unis D'Amerique. (28,18,)
16: "Partner-Partner" Ligot Philippe (56 pts) Ste des Regates Rochelaises (2,OCS ,)
17: "Cus Lecce" Rametta Rocco (56 pts) Italie. (36,20,)
18: "Runa" Martegiani Marco (57 pts) Italie. (DNF ,3,)
19: "Mad Max" Brachet Michelle (57 pts) Grande-Bretagne. (3,DNF ,)
20: "Full Throttle" Porter Brian (58 pts) Etats Unis D'Amerique. (DNF ,4,)
21: "Lek" Geir Dahl (59 pts) Norvege. (OCS ,5,)
22: "Alina Helly Hansen" Abba Maurizio (60 pts) Italie. (6,OCS ,)
23: "Sherekhan" Cardascio M (62 pts) Italie. (8,DNF ,)
24: "Ue Ue" Brighenti Valerio (64 pts) Italie. (10,DNF ,)
25: "Wild Thing" O'nolan Eamonn (67 pts) Grande-Bretagne. (13,DNF ,)
26: "Sogeti" Frickey Antoine (68 pts) Yacht Club de Monaco (14,DNF ,)
27: "Encore" de Kervanoel Cedric (69 pts) France. (15,DNF ,)
28: "Bohema Express II" Vopta Richard (70 pts) Republique Tcheque. (DNF ,16,)
29: "Flor Direct" Becquemie Tugdual (70 pts) Cercle Org Yachting Competition Hyerois (16,DNF ,)
30: "Zig Zag" Samuel Henri (73 pts) Y C de Dinard (19,DNF ,)
31: "Zerotwo" Good Lichael (77 pts) Suisse. (23,DNF ,)
32: "St Germain Audit.Com" Nebout Emmanuel (78 pts) Yacht Club de la Grande Motte (24,D+DS,)
33: "Lenny" Teniste Tonu (79 pts) Estonie. (25,DNF ,)
34: "Marchingenio" Marchi Giorgio (83 pts) Italie. (29,OCS ,)
35: "Gill" Strauss Quentin (84 pts) Grande-Bretagne. (30,DNF ,)
36: "Owner" Rowen David (85 pts) Grande-Bretagne. (31,DNF ,)
37: "Diabolo" Desarnaud Michel (86 pts) Cercle Org Yachting Competition Hyerois (32,DNF ,)
38: "Cotes D'armor 2" Geron Mathilde (87 pts) Centre Nautique de Plerin (33,DNF ,)
39: "Manamana" Kaske Johannes (88 pts) Allemagne. (34,DNF ,)
40: "Tape That" Vroon Carlo (89 pts) Hollande. (35,DNF ,)

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners without whom this regatta would not be possible:
Main Partners - Aigle, Euro-Voiles, Hyeres Les Palmiers
Partners - Var Conseil General, Region Provence-Alpes-Cote D'Azur, Toulon Provence Mediterranee, FFV, Melges 24 Association Francaise
Technical Partners - Foch, Liros Cordages Yachting, North Sails, Harken, Voiles Russo, RICOH
Media Partners - RTL Toulon 100.4 FM, Sport , Voile Magazine, Var-matin

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