Altea takes an early lead
On two race courses, one in front of Torbole and one further south, located just north of Limone, the Melges 24 World Championship came under starters orders today with the Melges 24s divided into four groups.
More than 125 crews, from 22 nations, were on the water waiting for the much-anticipated start. During the first two races on the north course, the orange group sailed against the blue group, while on the south the white and black groups lined up.
At the conclusion of racing, Italy's Andrea Racchelli sailing Altea, with a second and a sixth, is the overall leader while many of the favorites going into the day are trailing down in double digit position.
Conditions were extremely tough for all with many general recalls. Having been out of the Melges 24 fleet for some time Germany's Markus Wieser on AEZ, along with tactician French former Olympic Star sailor Pascal Rambeau, proved that he certainly hasn't lost his touch in the class and thanks to a first and an eighth, is now lying second overall just one point behind.
Outsider Tommaso del Rio's Maitech, put in a second and eighth to finish the day third, four points behind the leader - a most impressive achievement. Japan's Kan Yamamada, sailing Kanta-Ro Racing, is on equal points with Del Rio and lies fourth on countback. The top ten is completed by Norway's Kristoffer Spone, International Class Chairman Riccardo Simoneschi, Bora Gulari from the USA, Estonia's Peter Saraskin and a pair of Italiens, Carlo Fracassoli and Lorenzo Gemini.
Lorenzo Gemini's Sardinian team aboard SIV Arborea also hold the overall lead in the Corinthian class, just one point ahead of Marco Cavallini sailing Jeco Team with a family crew that includes Marco's father Gianni and brother Paolo, who lie 14th overall. Third Corinthian place is currently in the hands of Finland's Matias Sappovaara aboard Marquis de Conquistador, followed by Italy's Alessio Marinelli on Pensavo Peggio.
Tomorrow at least two more races is planned with courses and groups reversed. Weather permitting, the qualification series will conclude on Wednesday and with the introduction of the discard the fleet will be divided in Gold and Silver fleets.