ARGO versus STIG

Melges 32 Worlds set sail in Trapani

Wednesday August 26th 2015, Author: James Boyd, Location: Italy

After a brief one-hour delay, PRO Anderson Reggio sent teams to the north race course to complete the first three races of the 2015 Melges 32 World Championship, organized by B.Plan Sport & Events in cooperation with Melges Europe.

"The forecast for the day was very promising, so we planned to take advantage of the nice conditions and put one (a race) in the bank for later in the week," commented Reggio.

With a strong northeasterly wind that pumped much more than what the forecast originally called for, the goal for many teams was to remain in the hunt and keep fighting for another day.

Coming fresh from Pre-Worlds victory, Ryan DeVos' Volpe, with Mark Mendelblatt on tactics, stretched out a nice lead at the top mark in race one, but quickly fell victim to an open door behind them of teams gybe-setting and taking advantage of clean air out on the right. Never one to shy from a confident tactical decision, Roberto Tomasini Grinover and tactician Vasco Vascotto on Robertissima was the first to gybe, sending it to the right corner to take the lead at the gate. Alessandro Rombelli's STIG, with Francesco Bruni on tactics, found a nice groove on the next upwind leg finishing second behind Tomasini Grinover. DeVos' stayed strong to finish third.

The breeze built between races and shifted by five degrees. Judging by the boats stacked on the windward end of the starting line, there was a fight to get right to take advantage of weaker current and stronger wind funneling along the Trapani shoreline. Roberto Mazzucato's Margherita got off the line perfectly at the committee boat end, tacking shortly after the gun and never looked back leading from start to fnish in Race Two. Rombelli and STIG again showed solid speed to acquire yet another second place finish ahead of reigning World Champion Jason Carroll on Argo.

As the morning expresso wore off for many of the sailors, the breeze continued to build touching the low 20s, but Reggio stuck to his plan of a three-race day.

Showing no lapse in energy, Carroll grabbed a perfect mid-line start and with a clean lane headed right. Recovering from a harsh 21st finish in Race Two, Tomasini Grinover collected his team, pushed Carroll around the track to take second at the finish line. Yukihiro Ishida's Yasha Samurai had an awesome race maintaining a solid third.

Back at the dock, weary sailors wore smiles from an epic first day of Melges 32 racing. The post-racing festivities kicked off to the delight of a large number of shoreside spectators. Tomasini Grinover, Mazzucato and Carroll received a hearty applause for capturing the first three race wins at Worlds.

More hot and clear weather is in the forecast for Day Two. There is the potential for two conflicting breezes in the morning so it will be an interesting call for Reggio to send the fleet to the north or south course. Two additional races are scheduled with a one o'clock start (Italy time).

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