Audi Melges 32 World Championship Starts Tomorrow in Porto Cervo
22 September 2009
As published by Audi - B-Plan
Porto Cervo, Italy - The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s sailing season in Porto Cervo is about to close in style with the twelfth and final event of the season being an inaugural ISAF World Championship for one of the most exciting and rapidly expanding one design classes around. The Audi Melges 32 World Championship 2009 began officially on Sunday 20th September with registrations, measurements and official checks on the 30 participating boats and crews but the tension will truly rise when racing starts tomorrow, Wednesday 23rd at 12 midday. Racing will continue through Sunday 27th September with a maximum of ten races scheduled.
Although approximately two thirds of the fleet is Italian, seven other nationalities - Australia, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Monaco and the USA - are also represented. The teams to watch are numerous and no one boat is seen as a favourite for the championship so competition is sure to be fierce. Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network has performed well this season, winning the Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series after four legs in Italian waters. Peter Taselaar’s Bliksem (USA) showed excellent form in the final two legs of the Sailing Series gaining three bullets and four second places over thirteen races and boasts four time 470 World Champion Nathan Wilmot aboard. With three professional sailors allowed aboard each boat sailing superstars are not in short supply, America’s Cup Sailor Ray Davies is calling tactics on Luigi Melegari’s Matrix Cortina D’Ampezzo while Pietro D’Alì, 2007 winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre, is sailing on Rush Diletta and Adrian Stead is tactician aboard Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino. Onorato is a former World Champion in the Farr 40 and Mumm 30 classes and will be looking to establish a name for himself in the Melges 32 class.
The fleet completed a practice race in light winds of approximately 11 knots and lumpy seas today but many boats were clearly keeping their tactics under wraps until racing starts in earnest tomorrow. Normally sunny Porto Cervo has been experiencing unsettled and stormy weather over the past few days and conditions look to remain variable for the first few days of racing. PRO Peter Reggio is confident, however that the YCCS Race Committee will manage to fit in the full quota of 10 races, or close to it.
The first signal is scheduled for 12 midday tomorrow, Wednesday 23rd September and the forecast predicts east to north easterly winds of 8 to 10 knots.