Victory for Carroll
The final event in the 2011 Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series in Malcesine, Italy, came down to a single race on the last day. Conscious of the early afternoon cut off time, the Race Committee opted for a 0900 start to take advantage of the northerly morning Pela breeze. With only a slim chance of more than a single race before the Pela died away, the regatta leader by a margin of 7 points, American Jason Carroll on Argo, needed just to finish close to second placed Italian Lanfranco Cirillo on Fantastica to clinch his first Audi Sailing Series event win. Cirillo meanwhile had the added distraction of maintaining his slender three point lead in the overall season series over Alessio Marinelli on Audi Fratelli Giacomel.
After an initial general recall, race 7 got underway in a solid 10-12 knots of breeze, with the bulk of the fleet opting to head for the left hand lake shore. After a hesitant start Marinelli's was one of the few boats trying their hand on the right of the race course. In the end it was the left that paid handsomely, allowing Oscar Strugstad on Dawn Raid rounding narrowly ahead of fellow countryman Joe Woods on Red in second and Spain's Marc de Antonio Altimara on Bribon in third. At this point both Carroll and Cirillo were in the mid-teens with Carroll holding the advantage. Marinelli, who had been caught out badly on the right of the beat, rounded deep in the fleet.
On the first downwind Woods held on the furthest on starboard to ease past Strugstad who had gybed at the halfway point. From then on Woods slowly but surely extended his lead to round the second windward mark with an unassailable lead. Behind him Italian Carlo Perrone on Atlantica moved up into second with Edoardo Pavesio on Fra Martina rounding in third. With the northerly breeze beginning to veer slowly south, the final run became very one-sided. Woods took a comfortable win ahead of Perrone in second, with Luca Lalli taking advantage of the windshift to steal third from Pavesio. Back in the pack, in the battle for the regatta and the overall season series, Cirillo had managed to get past Carroll but could only manage 10th place, just three places ahead of Carroll. Marinelli had also made gains on the final leg, but could only close to within two places of Cirillo.
After bringing the fleet ashore in the hope that a southerly breeze would establish itself, several hours later the Race Committee called the competitors out to the race course again. After a further wait however, the breeze failed to stabilise sufficiently for fair competition and racing was finally abandoned.
This meant that Carroll was confirmed as the winner of the regatta and Cirillo as winner of the overall four-regatta season series. Cirillo also retained his second place in the regatta, 12 points behind Carroll and 7 points ahead of third placed Lalli. In fourth was Alessio and in fifth Carlo Alberini on Calvi Network.
With the 2011 Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series now completed, the Melges 32 fleet now moves to Palma, Mallorca for Copa del Rey, a warm-up for the 2011 Melges 32 World Championship to be held over 20-24 September.
Top 10 results after seven races
1 - Jason Carroll/Andy Horton, ARGO; 5-2-5-5-1-1- = 19
2 - Lanfranco Cirillo/Michelle Paoletti, Fantastica; 4-1-7-3--6-10 = 31
3 - Luca Lalli/Lorenzo Bressani, B-Lin Sailing.com; 7-11-2--11-4-3 = 38
4 - Alessio Marinelli/Riccardo Simoneschi, Audi Fratelli Giacomel; 3-6--16-4-2-12 = 43
5 - Edoardo Pavesio, Fra Martina; 11-9--7-12-7-4 = 50
6 - Carlo Alberini/Enrico Fonda, Calvi Network; 1-14-11-1--15-16 = 58
7 - Carlo Perrone/Lorenzo Bodini, Atlantica 19; 6--14-11-24-3-2 = 60
8 - Filippo Pacinotti/Daniele Cassinari, Brontolo HH; -21-1-6-16-12-7= 63
9 - John Porter/Jonathan McKee, Full Throttle; 9-13-10--2-20-14 = 68
10 - Joe Woods/Joe Glanfield, Red; 16-10-9-19-14--1= 69