Lack of Wind Stops Play at Volvo Melges 24 Worlds
2 June 2008
Porto Cervo, 2 June 2008 - There was no racing today at the Volvo Melges 24 World Championship hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo. The second day of the championship dawned with overcast skies, rain showers and extremely light winds and initially the race committee announced a one hour postponement to see how the weather would develop. Around 11.30 the sun was starting to break through and there was a hint of sea breeze so the competitors went afloat in the hope of being able to get racing underway when the postponement finished at 12.30.
Course B Principle Race Officer Hank Stuart reported “When we got out there we had light wind from the NW so we set the first course at 295 and with a steady breeze at more than 5 knots we rolled into a starting sequence at 1245. The first start was a P and we had a bunch of boats over so it was a general recall. We then went with a Z flag but during the sequence the wind began to shut down so we hoisted AP and waited to see what would happen. With the hot sun it’s pretty tough out there on a small boat with no shade and at 1350 we decided to fly AP over H and send the boats to wait for further signals ashore. It takes around an hour and a half to get everyone out to the race course so a decision to race had to be made by 16.00. Shortly after 15.00 is was clear that the situation wasn’t going to improve so we hoisted AP over N to signal no further racing.”
Although no one ever likes to loose a day it was clearly a popular decision with the competitors. Fleet leader Alberto Bolzan, helming Gianni Catalogna’s ITA727 Pilot Italia, was succinct saying simply "It was the right decision." IMCA Class Chairman Guenter Tzeschlock concurred “The decision was the right one because there was no stable direction, it was very light and it was the only thing to do to close down the race for the day.” and 2006 joint Melges 24 Corinthian World Champion Jean-Francois Cruette, sailing Cedric De Kervenoael’s FRA612 Bouygues Telecom, agreed too saying “It’s a pity because this morning the wind was stable but too light, but for sure it was the right decision. “
Speaking about the fleet in general Laser SB3 European Champion Geoff Carveth, helming in his first Melges 24 World Championship for the UK’s Miles Quinton aboard GBR694 Code Zero, commented. “The sailing’s really close and really hard. I’m used to being in front in most fleets, but I’m not quite there yet. We’ve had our moments and we’re finding a few grooves where I’m thinking I’m going as good as the top guys, but it only takes a slight change and you’re struggling for height and pace again. It’s such a minimal thing, certainly we haven’t yet quite found an edge, downwind we’re good, it’s just upwind where we’re still searching hard to find some more. The forecast for tomorrow is much better so we’re just looking forward to getting back out there.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow Course A Principle Race Officer Peter “Luigi” Reggio noted “I think it would be best for everybody if we did three races tomorrow to get some in the bank. Knowing that we have to do a final race then split the fleet on Wednesday we’ll look at starting earlier Wednesday so we can take the time to come ashore, sort out any protests, and do the fleet splits before we go out in the afternoon to start the second half of the championship. The forecast looks good for the next two days, but ……. this is sailing ……….!”
Back ashore the competitors have been soaking up the Sardinian sunshine around the Yacht Club's pool and taking advantage of Volvo's excellent courtesy car service, which provides 20 chauffeured cars from across the Volvo range for competitor use, to get out into the surrounding area and see more of Sardinia's beautiful Costa Smeralda.
So in the overall standings we have no change. Alberto Bolzan, helming Gianni Catalogna’s ITA727 Pilot Italia, leads the regatta. Norway’s Olympic Bronze Medallist (Soling/Sydney) Herman Horn-Johannessen sailing NOR732 Rett Rundt Hjornet lies three points behind in second. Reigning Melges 24 North American Champion Brian Porter of Chicago, IL, aboard USA649 Full Throttle, and Swiss America’s Cup sailor Jean-Marc Monnard, in SUI599 Poizon Rouge, share third place on eight points. Britain’s Jamie Lea, helming GBR691 Team Barbarians for Stuart Simpson is one point behind them in fifth.
In the Corinthian Division, for the all amateur teams, Oyvind Peder Jahre, sailing NOR 554 Terra Eindomsmeglng for Stian Briseid, leads the fleet and lies 17th in the overall competition. Second Corinthian is Rudolf Houdek in GER731 Secret Men's Business, with joint 2006 Corinthian Melges 24 World Champion Jean-Francois Cruette, helming FRA612 for Cedric De Kervenaoel, third.
The twelve race series runs until Friday 6 June and a minimum of five races is required to complete the series.
For further information, regular reports and resultes please visit www.melges24worlds2008.com or contact:-
Fiona Brown, Press Officer, International Melges 24 Class, Tel +44 (0)7711 718470, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, Skype fpbrown, 3 Palmers Rd, Emsworth, Hants, PO10 7DL. www.melges24.com
Jill Campbell, Press Officer, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Tel. +39 0789 902200, E-mail email@example.com, www.yccs.it
Roberto Lonardi, PR Manager, Volvo Auto Italia, Tel +39 051 537791, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, www.volvocars.it
The Melges 24 is designed by Reichel Pugh (www.reichel-pugh.com) and considered the most unique one design sportsboat in the world as well as one of the fastest-growing classes of high performance yachts. For more information visit www.melges24.com
Volvo Cars was founded in 1927 and is based in Gothenburg, Sweden, producing premium cars for the global market. Brand core values are Safety, Environmental Care and Quality. For further information about Volvo, please visit www.media.volvocars.com or www.volvocars.com
Conte of Florence is an Official Supplier of the event. The Italian company has been a partner of the Volvo Cup for many years with a dedicated clothing line and is also present at the Volvo Melges 24 World Championship for which it has exclusively created technical garments. For more information visit For further information, regular reports and resultes please visitwww.conteofflorence.com.