Italy wins Platu 25 Worlds
There was an exciting final day at the Platu 25 Worlds with two races held in stiff breeze. The Italian crew of Euz II have been crowned the World Champions, with the Spanish team on Mundo Marino taking silver and Germany's Falkone the bronze.
Lake Traunsee, Austria was at its best today. Finally the fresh breeze that everyone has been waiting for for the whole championship arrived in Gmunden, guaranteeing a spectacular finale to the 2011 Platu 25 Worlds. The fleet left the marina at 10am into a good northeasterly of 15+ knots for the first race of the day.
A lot was at stake, especially for the Spanish teams who had a disappointing day yesterday, but were quick to recover. Collection Coppel Dental helmed by Jose Manuel Perez, scored a first, while GAES Mundo Marino skippered by Spanish Olympic Champion Paco Sánchez was close behind in second with third going to Matahambre. As the Spaniards were fighting to climb back to the top positions, a fourth place was enough for the provisional leaders on Euz II to stay in the top spot with a solid 16 point advantage over their competitors.
So it was only in the second and final race that there was the very last chance to jump on the final steps of the podium. With the wind now topping 20 knots, the 46 Platu 25s fought to the last tack, with overcrowded mark roundings and several protests. Euz II completed their Worlds in grand style with a third place, leaving the other teams to battle it out for decisive points. In the end it was Gaes Mundo Marino that crossed the finish line first, followed by the German team Five 4 the Eight. Falkone was 11th - not one of their best results in the series - but enough to secure them third overall. As the Jury dismissed the protests the champions were finally free to celebrate and congratulate to each others.
Sandro Montefusco, helmsman on Euz II Monella Viziata said: “Finally two perfect races, in 16 to 20 knots of breeze. We were not expecting such a great final day after the weather conditions we had over the week. In the first race we started well and kept our position to the finish, the second one was a bit more complicated, we had a bad start and did not profit from some wind shifts. At a point we were 15th but tried to keep our nerves and slowly climbed back to the first part of the fleet. It’s a great result and a huge emotion.”
A teary-eyed but grinning Francesco Lanera, owner of Euz II added: “The whole team was hoping for this title, but I’m not used to such a joy. Obviously Sandro Montefusco was a guarantee but I’m not used to this stress! It’s fantastic, I can hardly believe it. I have to thank each and everyone in my crew and my family and sponsors. We showed we are a strong team, determined to win despite the difficult weather conditions and the strain.”
Full results here