Photo: Francois Richard

In the bag for Tom Slingsby

Laser ace claims the second D-One Gold Cup on Lake Garda

Sunday July 31st 2011, Author: Pierre Orphanidis, Location: Italy

Tom Slingsby turned the closing race of the 2011 D-One Gold Cup into his own personal parade on the waters off Fraglia Vela Riva del Garda.

Going into the medal race, that carried double points with no possibility of being discarded, the overall score table was still wide open and a few duels were expected within the fleet for the individual podium spots. The first attempt at running a race was short lived and had to be canceled towards the end of the first run when the early morning northerly (Peler) died. The intense duel between Thompson and Slingsby would have to be repeated. After a half hour wait, the Ora (the southerly breeze on Lake Garda) kicked in earlier than expected and gave the race committee the opportunity to hold a second start at 1100.

That race proved to be a non-event, even with a light breeze between 6 and 8 knots. The Australian had a conservative start, but thanks to his boat speed and excellent helming, he managed to build a lead of more than 100m at the first weather mark over second-placed Giles Scott. Slingsby then extended the lead to over 200m at the finish line. A finish in ninth place for Andrea Casale meant Scott was victorious in his fight for the third podium spot. Argentina's Agustín Zabalua, winner of the 2010 Gold Cup, scored a third place ending up 11th overall.

As a result, Tom Slingsby wins the second D-One Gold Cup and proves that the dinghy designed by Luca Devoti, when helmed by Olympic champions, can reach excellent speed and provide an impressive show on water.

It is important to point out that the top five skippers in the overall leaderboard weighed between 80kg and 98kg in a windy venue like Riva del Garda, a very wide range for dinghies.

Slingsby top the leaderboard with just 8 points (3-1-1-2-1-1-1), followed by Thompson (1-2-2-1-2-2-4) and Scott (2-4-4-3-5-5-2). Andrea Casale wrapped up the Gold cup with a fourth place (4-3-3-4-3-4-9), showing that he still has all it takes to be competitive in a dinghy. Fabio Toccoli, in ninth place, is also the winner in the Corinthian division. Nathalie Testa won the title in the women's division while German Eberhard Bieberitz was the best-performing Master.

“It's been a real pleasure racing on the D-One here,” stated a jubilant Tom Slingsby. “It's a great boat, great people and great class. Having 36 yachts from 11 nations in the second edition of the D-One Gold Cup is a good result. I decided to come here and race because I was definitively intrigued by the potential of this dinghy. The D-One can have a great future and grow very fast. I will certainly train again and race on a D-One, this time bringing many of my friends, to whom I definitely suggest they tried it.”

The next edition of the D-One Gold Cup will take place in Tuscany, near the end of next year's summer. The 2011 Volvo Cup D-One, after the events in Alassio, Bracciano, Cattolica and Riva del Garda, will now proceed to Marina di Scarlino with the National Championship (16-18 September) and the Barcolina of Trieste (1-2 October).


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