Solid 50 knots

Victory for Joe Woods' Red as last day of Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series racing in Porto Cervo is canned

Sunday June 19th 2011, Author: Justin Chisholm, Location: Italy

Mistral winds of up to 55 knots hit Porto Cervo on the final day of the 2011 Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series, making sailing impossible and forcing Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio to abandon the final two scheduled races early in the morning.

“They tell me that the anemometer at the yacht club trips out at 50 knots, and it has been in that state since we arrived here this morning and it is getting windier," commented Luigi wryly. "It’s disappointing to have to pull the plug on racing today, particularly after the spectacular display the fleet put on yesterday in 20 knots of breeze. However, sometimes you just have to accept that the weather has beaten you.”

The cancellation of racing means that overnight regatta leader Joe Woods on Red is confirmed as the overall winner by two clear points from Filippo Pacinotti on Brontolo in second and American John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti in third. Still looking a little battered and bruised from yesterday’s head-on first race pre-start collision with Peter Rogers on GBR 121 Highlife, which resulted in him receiving average points for the day’s other two races, Woods was nevertheless clearly delighted to have emerged as the overall regatta winner. “It’s not how we would have wanted to win a regatta obviously, but we are really pleased with the way we have been sailing here this week. We had a poor result at our last event, primarily down to some last minute forced changes to our crew line-up, so it’s very encouraging to have performed well over a range of wind conditions here in Porto Cervo. It’s a good confidence builder for our ultimate goal, which is of course the World Championship in Palma de Mallorca this September."

Having now chalked up consecutive second places at the last two events, Filippo Pacinotti was also pleased with his team’s performance in Porto Cervo. “We have always felt strong in the lighter wind conditions, so we have been trying to work hard on our windy weather performance too. The first day here in Porto Cervo was good for us with three second places, and on the second day in the stronger breeze we also felt like we were competitive.” Asked if he was disappointed not to have raced on the last day, he commented “Well of course we would always rather race than not race, but in the end I don’t think it would have changed the overall result for us, as in reality it would have been hard to overtake Joe.”

Pacinotti’s result at this event also moves him up the rankings in the overall 2011 Audi Sailing Series, and he now sits in second place behind John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti, which retains the overall series lead by way of a third place performance in Porto Cervo. Fifth in Porto Cervo, Alessio Marinelli on Audi Fratelli Giacomel Armonia, now lies in third overall in the overall Audi Sailing Series.

From Porto Cervo, the Melges 32 circuit continues on its tour of classic European regatta venues, with the fourth leg of the 2011 Audi Sailing Series taking place at Malcesine on Italy’s Lake Garda over 15-17 July. Following that the fleet moves on to the Copa Del Ray regatta in Palma de Mallorca from 1-6 August, before returning to Palma for the season climax - the 2011 Melges 32 World Championship which takes place over 20-24 September.

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