Joe Fly into the lead

After forecast gale fails to materialise at Melges 24 Europeans

Thursday August 7th 2003, Author: Fiona Brown, Location: Scandinavia
The forecast gale never materialised today at the Jacob’s Creek Melges 24 European Championship in Helsinki and instead the crews completed two further races in near perfect conditions of glorious sunshine with an offshore NW to N breeze, which varied from 14 to 20 knots, over a moderate chop. Overnight leader Luca Santella, helming Joe Fly for Giovanni Maspero, put in a consistent performance to hold his lead while Jean Francoise Cruette pulled up to second with Luca Valerio third.

The fleet's biggest problem today was getting off the starting line with a total of four general recalls (two in each race). Race six eventually got underway with individual recalls, seven of which failed to return. The fleet was very close up the first beat with Valerio, helming Maurizio Abba's Alina just popping out ahead at the windward mark closely followed by Antti Niiniranta in Marinel Patu, Kenneth Thelen in Suunto and Lars Horn Johannessen helming Siste Stein for Anders Stenhagen.

Behind them was a nightmare of boats approaching simultaneously from both lay lines, Giovanni Giordo in Sail is Fun slipped into fifth just in front of Kari Heikkila in Ari Blom's Marinel Mastervolt but behind them the pack ended up in a total log jam with virtually everyone managing to make contact with at least one other boat. Somewhere in the middle of it all first Silvio Santoni, helming Devotissimo for Franco Maria Rao and then Flavio Favini, helming Franco Rossini's Blu Moon both managed to get hooked up on the windward mark. "First Silvio was caught and then as soon as he freed himself the mark came up under our bow and we were caught too!" said Favini after racing. Despite eventually rounding well down in the thirties Favini sailed a most impressive race to pull back up to 14, Santoni was less fortunate and ended up pulling out of the race.

Another loser up the first beat was Jamie Lea, helming Richard Thompson’s Black Seal, "We were approaching on port looking fine when we were forced back out to the left by Chiquita. The boats we were with before that all rounded top ten but we ended up down in the 40s and struggled to get back to 28th." By the first leeward mark Valerio had held his lead from Niiniranta and Thelen, the boats split with Valerio and Thelen taking the right gate and Niiniranta the left. At the second weather mark Valerio was hanging onto first whilst Thelen had taken second from Niiniranta. Christophe Barreu, helming Denis Infante's Eurovoiles, had sailed two very smart legs to round fourth ahead of Heikkila, Francesco Bruni, helming Ale Ali 3 for Preti Adriano, Morgan Reeser, helming Partner & Partners for Philippe Ligot, and Santella.

On the next lap Valerio stretched out an impressive lead while Thelen and Niiniranta continued to battle it out for second ahead of the pack. At the final weather mark it was Barrue in forth from Santella, Bruni, Heikkila, Reeser and Grogan. On the final lap Valerio just kept adding distance on the fleet while Thelen eventually got the better of Niiniranta. Grogan made some very smart moves in the closing stages to pull up to forth from Barrue with Andrea Racchelli in Altea coming from tenth to sixth.

Race seven saw more fun and games on the start line with the Race Committee eventually bringing in the black flag as a result of which five boats headed for an early bath including Grogan and Santella. Lea was particularly delighted with one of the general recall decisions as he found himself hooked by the bowsprit on the pin end boy after being shut out by Favini. Once underway it was Santella who got the best of the first beat from Favini, Jean Francois Cruette, helming Scutum for Cedric de Kervenoael, Egidio Babbi in Citta' Di Cesena and Lea. A couple of smart gybes on the first run took Cruette into the lead from Santella and Favini while Lea pulled up for fourth in front of Racchelli. Up the second beat Cruette began to open up whilst Lea, Favini and Santella fought for second rounding in that order with Barrue fifth and Racchelli sixth. From here on in there was no stopping Cruette who took the race by over 30 seconds. Santella, Favini and Lea continued their fight for the second slot with Santella eventually leading Lea and Favini over the line. Barrue took fifth, Racchelli sixth and Thelen seventh.

Today the discard came into play leaving Santella with a seven-point lead from Barrue who moved up from tenth having dropped an OCS. Racchelli lies in third with Thelen fourth, Lea fifth and Reeser sixth. With three more races over two days ahead the regatta is still wide open so we’re looking forward to an exciting finish to the Jacob's Creek Melges 24 European Championship.

Results

Pos Boat Name Sail No R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Tot
1 Joe Fly ITA550 10 4 2 1 1 9 2 19
2 Eurovoiles FRA461 3 11 1 2 OCS 5 5 27
3 Alina ITA409 2 12 3 7 12 1 6 31
4 P&P Sailing Team FRA475 5 8 12 6 6 7 10 42
5 Suunto FIN236 11 6 17 12 5 2 7 43
6 Black Seal GBR437 8 17 8 3 4 27 3 43
7 Blu Moon ITA489 4 7 6 38 15 13 4 49
8 Citta' Di Cesena ITA421 9 3 RDG(6) 10 16 26 8 52
9 Fruen Maren NOR249 13 2 9 11 7 17 11 53
10 Altea ITA438 12 1 18 8 9 DSQ 9 57
11 Marinel PaTu FIN289 6 5 35 9 20 3 27 70
12 Helmut Rises GBR546 27 21 7 4 13 4 BFD 76
13 Devotissimo ITA561 1 9 5 14 2 DNF BFD 83
14 Seawind FIN262 20 26 11 13 21 6 12 83
15 Sail is Fun ITA490 14 40 14 21 10 15 15 89
16 Marinel Mastervolt FIN529 17 16 4 16 17 OCS 21 91
17 Scutum FRA321 15 13 RAF 5 14 OCS 1 100
18 Lek NOR506 16 20 16 18 3 32 31 104
19 Vito GER507 18 22 23 22 11 10 25 106
20 Barbarians GBR484 7 DSQ 28 26 18 12 18 109
21 Sogeti MON429 44 19 10 15 8 OCS 14 110
22 Proctor Winning Masts GBR564 35 25 13 27 26 16 19 126
23 Liros Nantes St Nazaire FRA422 19 28 22 25 23 24 17 130
24 Ale Ali ITA139 25 15 15 OCS OCS 8 16 131
25 Chiquita FIN476 23 10 DNF 24 25 35 24 141
26 The Muts Nuts GBR405 28 24 38 29 19 25 20 145
27 3 to 6 Happy Hour GBR326 37 35 21 20 22 38 13 148
28 Pohjola - Fonecta Finder FIN434 36 41 26 17 30 22 36 167
29 Transtec SUI382 26 18 37 39 OCS 29 23 172
30 Comfortably Numb GBR527 34 34 25 36 28 21 32 174
31 Mustgo GBR359 OCS 23 41 19 27 34 33 177
32 Sampo FIN253 29 37 31 28 31 37 26 182
33 Hydroll FIN316 24 31 40 DNF DNS 14 22 183
34 Marinel MaxPower FIN214 21 27 19 30 34 OCS DNF 183
35 Siste Stein NOR366 30 32 39 34 38 11 BFD 184
36 Sitting Duck SWE508 OCS 29 27 37 32 23 37 185
37 Maski M GER537 OCS 14 20 23 DSQ OCS 28 189
38 Team SBAB SWE532 22 DSQ 33 35 29 19 BFD 190
39 Razzle Dazzle NED112 32 48 29 46 39 20 29 195
40 WKD GBR496 31 33 36 33 35 28 39 196
41 Blue Peter FIN227 33 46 DNF 42 33 18 35 207
42 Marella V NOR279 45 38 34 40 24 33 DNF 214
43 Jacuzzi SWE172 39 39 32 32 37 36 43 215
44 Ryck SWE282 OCS 30 46 31 OCS 30 34 223
45 Big Game SWE454 42 42 24 45 41 OCS 30 224
46 piceng.se SWE283 41 RDG(36) 30 41 OCS OCS 41 241
47 Nava Eclipse FRA459 38 44 42 OCS 36 31 BFD 243
48 FIN425 FIN425 43 43 43 43 40 40 38 247
49 Fennia FIN319 40 45 45 DNS DNS 39 42 263
50 Valecrin FRA503 47 47 44 44 RAF OCS 40 274
51 www.formulacars.co.uk GBR233 46 49 DNF DNF DNF DNF DNS 303

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