The Union Jack Flies High At The Audi Melges 32 European Championship

13 May 2010

Cagliari, Italy; 13 May 2010 - The Audi Melges 32 European Championship got underway today in Cagliari and out front, waving the British flag, Joe Woods on Red with tactician Paul Goodison and Peter Rogers on Highlife, flanked by Ruaridh Scott are tied for first place overall.

The two British teams surprised everyone as they were not amongst the list of teams immediately favored to lead the event after three amazing races. Woods sits in first, and Rogers in second on countback.

The day began with a light, south wind around 8 knots. Lanfranco Cirillo on Fantastica with Michele Paoletti called for a strong pin end start. The English team was quick to get out front with Cirillo following. The racing got tighter as the breeze diminished, a situation that only the best tacticians can surely handle successfully. They commanded to the finish line with Luca Lalli and tactician Lorenzo Bressani on BLinSailing.com in third, Cirillo in fourth and Francesco Martino with tactician Alberto Bolzan on Pilot Italia finishing fifth.

The wind shifted steady to the right for race two. Carlo Alberini on Calvi Network and tactician Gabriele Benussi wanted to quickly forget the opening round as it was certainly not their best performance (they eventually retired in the third and final race due to a broken backstay after contact with Martin Knetig on Black Mamba). Alberini had a nice groove on the first leg, working themselves closer and closer to the group that included Cirillo and Rogers. It was a photo finish for Rogers, thanks to a perfect jibe, taking control and the win ahead of Cirillo in second, Alberini finished third. Jean Francois Cruette on Teasing Machine beat out Lalli after a prolonged duel to take fourth.

The breeze intensified for the final round, 15 knots at 230 degrees. Everyone agreed that the right side looked the best, but Brontolo’s Filippo Pacinotti with tactician Freddy Loof had the courage to choose the left looking for pressure, rounding the top mark in first. Behind him, Woods was waiting for just the right moment to make an aggressive move for the lead, tacking to the right anticipating that Pacinotti would relinquish control of the lead. Woods took charge and the win with Pacinotti finishing second. Lalli placed third showing success in almost every situation, playing the day rather conservatively. Rogers made an excellent recovery to finish in fifth. It was just enough to place him even in points and on an even line with Woods for first overall. It was great first day of racing for the British colors.

Full Entry List (After 3 races)
1.) Joe Woods/Paul Goodison, Red; 1-6-1 = 8
2.) Peter Rogers/Ruaridh Scott, Highlife; 2-1-5 = 8
3.) Luca Lalli/Lorenzo Bressani, BLinSailing.com; 3-5-3 = 11 
4.) Lanfranco Cirillo/Michele Paoletti, Fantastica; 4-2-6 = 12 
5.) Jean-Francois Cruette/Christian Ponthieu, Teasing Machine; 7-4-9 = 20 
6.) John Kilroy/Stu Bannatyne, Samba Pa Ti; 8-9-4 = 21
7.) Filippo Pacinotti/Freddy Loof, Brontolo; 13-7-2 = 22 
8.) Francesco Martino/Alberto Bolzan, Pilot Italia; 5-8-13 = 26 
9.) Andrea Cecchetti/Vasco Vascotto, Bagua; 10-11-7 = 28 
10.) Wolfgang Stolz/Sten Mohr, Opus One; 9-12-8 = 29 

Full Results
Full Crew List 
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Full race reports, interviews and photo galleries will be posted online each day after racing at the official website of the International Melges 32 Class Association (IM32CA). If you are unable to attend 2010 Melges 32 Audi European Championship, stay in touch by subscribing to the IM32CA RSS Feed, or visiting the Official Melges 32 Blog. Friend the fleet on Facebook, follow it on Twitter and subscribe to the Official Melges 32 You Tube Channel.