Victory for Altea
An up and down breeze that never truly filled in at any point ensured for challenging racing on the final day of European Melges 24 European Sailing Series in Portoroz. Altea's three victories in a row saw the team open an advantage as Lenny (EST) and Audi (ITA) rounded off the podium.
Italy's Altea brought a 7 point lead into the start of the final day and made sure to keep the rivals at bay with two further bullets.
Altea skipper Andrea Racchelli commented: "We did two rounds and the conditions could not have been more lenient as we never had more than 6 knots of wind. Winning in such circumstances is reassuring because we expect similar conditions in Balaton, where European Championship will take place in May."
With a seventh and a fifth place, the Estonian entry Lenny lost a substantial lead, but still managed hang on to second overall. "To finish off second after a six month break is fantastic," said the Toniste brothers. "Everybody has had a few bad races along the way and this enabled some really close racing, making the event really great." The competition for the Corinthian teams was won also by Lenny.
Audi team (ITA) sailed themselves into third, knocking Storm Capital Sail Racing (NOR) off the podium. "We couldn't have asked for much more in these tricky conditions. The boat is new and we found a few things that could be improved. It was a good training before the Europeans," said Riccardo Simoneschi, who was also impressed by the venue. "The Marina in Portoroz has superb facilities and the hosts were very kind to all of us. They made the event simple but efficient. We look forward to come back here the next year."
The first leg of the European Sailing Series doubled as Sloveninan National Championship for the Melges 24s and was won by Atena. In this Jure Jerkovič successfully defended his title: "We've successfully defended the title but we're also thrilled with our eigth place overall. This gives us plenty of motivation for the season ahead," he said.
Full results here