Melges 32s revving engines
The International Melges 32 Class Association is ushering its third World Championship, this time in Palma de Mallorca, hosted by Real Club Nautico de Palma. 29 entries from eight countries have converged to race for the class' most coveted title. Italy brings 10 entries, the United States has delivered an unprecedented eight teams, while the remaining competitors come from France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Netherlands and Spain.
As expected, the final field of competitors is one of the strongest and most talented ever. Reigning Melges 32 World Champion Luca Lalli with tactician Tiziano Navi on B-Lin Sailing has returned to the international arena, ready to defend his title. In the opposite corner, and clearly well-positioned to be a front-runner is Argo. Helmed by the young and hip Jason Carroll, carefully guided by tactician Cameron Appleton, and supported by one of the most vivacious crews in the fleet, Argo is definitely a team that will do well. In July, Argo took the final act of the Sailing Series on Lake Garda by storm, then felt further success by going on to win the prestigious Copa Del Rey title. Another team in attack position is 2011 Audi Sailing Series Champion Lanfranco Cirillo with tactician Michele Paoletti on Fantastica. Not only did he win the high-premium European season series, but he also won the Midwinter Championship Series (Gold Cup, Key West and Miami) in North America.
Others in strong contention are John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti with Vasco Vascotto calling tactics, 2011 Key West Race Week Champion William Douglass with tactician Chris Larson on Goombay Smash, Edoardo Lupi with tactician Branko Brcin on Torpyone, John Porter and tactician Jonathan McKee on Full Throttle, Vincenzo Onorato with Francesco Bruni on tactics for Mascalzone Latino, Filippo Pacinotti with tactician Daniele Cassinari on Brontolo and Steve Howe pairs up with Morgan Larson as tactician on Warpath.
Another very important noteworthy competitor who has returned as a charterer is 2008 Audi Sailing Series Champion and former Let's Roll owner Claudio Recchi aboard Audi Fratelli Giacomel.
Over the course of the weekend, teams have not only been in full preparation mode on the water (both Saturday and Sunday were designated formal practice days), but also on land as well. Long days of boat and sail measurement, and weigh-in are almost complete as registration wraps up on Monday. Five full days of official World Championship racing is slated to begin on Tuesday, September 20 and through until Saturday, September 24.
1.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, ARGO
2.) Carlo Perrone/Lorenzo Bodini, Atlantica 19
3.) Claudio Recchi/Riccardo Simoneschi, Audi Fratelli Giacomel
4.) Luca Lalli/Tiziano Navi, B-lin Sailing
5.) Pieter Taselaar/Tom Slingsby, Bliksem
6.) Marc de Antonio Altimira/Hugo Rocha, Bribon-Movistar
7.) Filippo Pacinotti/Danielle Cassinari, Brontolo HH
8.) Ferdinando Battistella/Andrea Casale, Cuervo y Sobrinos
9.) Oscar Strugstad/Andy Horton, Dawn Raid
10.) Lanfranco Cirillo/Michele Paoletti, Fantastica
11.) Edoardo Pavesio/Enrico Fonda, FRA MARTINA
12.) John Porter/Jonathan McKee, Full Throttle
13.) William Douglass/Chris Larson, Goombay Smash
14.) Peter Rogers/Ruairidh Scott, Highlife
15.) Christian Soyka/Peter Bolvig Hansen, IMMAC Fram
16.) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni, Mascalzone Latino
17.) Wolfgang Stolz/Jesper Radich, Opus One
18.) Joe Woods/Paul Goodison, Red
19.) Kees Kaan/Geert de Krom, ROARK
20.) Mauro Mocchegiani/Matteo Ivaldi, Rush Diletta
21.) John Kilroy/Vasco Vascotto, Samba Pa Ti
22.) Geoff Pierini/Steve Hunt, Sicktrix
23.) Naofumi Kamei/Kan Yamada, Team Bros.
24.) Jean Francois Cruette/Christian Ponthieu, Teasing Machine
25.) Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, Torpyone
26.) Santiago Estevez/Sandra Azon Canalda, Turismo Rias Baixas - Caseldog
27.) Steve Howe/Morgan Larson, Warpath
28.) Yukihiro Ishida/Hamish Pepper, Yasha Samurai
29.) Alexis Michas/Brian Ledbetter, Zetiana