Lanfranco Cirillo Leads After First Day In Malcesine

15 July 2011

Malcesine, Italy - Day 1 of the Malcesine edition of the 2011 Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series on Lake Garda, Italy saw three close races sailed in sunny and warm conditions and winds which ranged from 8 knots at the start of racing up to 16 knots by the end of the day. Each of the three races saw a different winner, with Carlo Alberini on ITA 186 Calvi Network taking first blood in Race 1, Cirillo'sFantastica snatching victory on the final run in Race 2, and Filippo Pacinotti on ITA 667 Brontolo HHgrinding out a narrow win in Race 3. With many of the 25 international teams having had at least one poor result today, it was clear that any sort of consistency was going to pay dividends. Accordingly, with a 4,1,7 performance today, it is Lanfranco Cirillo on ITA 212 Fantastica who tops the leaderboard tonight, tied on points with second placed Jason Carroll on USA 128 Argo. A further 8 points back and sitting in third at the end of Day 1 is reigning Melges 32 World Champion Luca Lalli on B-Lin Sailing with 20 points.

The traditional Lake Garda thermal Ora breeze took a little more time than normal to make an appearance, forcing a delay to the start of racing until around midday and meaning that the first race of the day was sailed in a gentle 6 - 8 knot breeze. Perhaps due to drinking too much coffee in the Italian sunshine whilst they waited for the wind to arrive, the fleet showed considerable collective enthusiasm on the startline for the first race, forcing no less than three attempts to finally get the race away under a Z-Flag. Despite the early part of the first beat looking to favour the boats working the left hand shore of the lake, ultimately it was Carlo Alberini at the helm of Calvi Network, out towards the middle, who led the fleet around the first windward mark. Close behind was Antonello Morina on ITA 179 Sei Tu 32 in second and Peter Rogers on GBR 121 Highlife in third. Alberini extended his lead down the first run, with Morina also pulling away from the chasing pack. Picking his lanes expertly on this leg Alessio Marinelli on ITA 1 Audi Fratelli Giacomel moved up into third place at the gate. With the breeze increasing a couple of clicks to around 10 knots, the racecourse became a little more consistent and easier to read. By the finish of the race there were no changes in the top three, with Alberini taking the gun comfortably from Morina in second and Marinelli in third. Cirillo took fourth, ahead of Carroll in fifth.

Race 2 got away at the first time of asking with the fleet splitting almost equally left and right on the first beat. Leading the pack on the left was Carroll, with Rogers along with Kees Kaan on NED 209 Roark both making the running on the right. When the fleet converged at the first windward mark, it was Rogers who led, with Kaan hot on his heels in second, Carrol in third, Wolfgang Stolz on onGER 206 Opus One fourth, and Marinelli fifth. Kees made a bold move to gybe early in the pursuit of fresh breeze on the right of the course and because of this it was he who led at the gate by the narrowest of margins from Stolz in second and Carrol in third. The second beat was all about the right hand side, with a shift and extra pressure delivering a big gain to the boats choosing that option. At the second windward mark Kees maintained his lead, with Cirillo moving up into second ahead of Carrol in third, Kaan in fourth and Pieter Taselaar on USA 169 Bliksem who had moved up into fifth. Cirillo and Carrol went on the offensive on the final downwind, both overhauling Kees to cross the line in first and second respectively. Kees came home third ahead of Stolz in fourth and Taselaar in fifth.

Due in the main to a heavily starboard biased startline, it took three attempts to get Race 3 underway in a solid 12 - 15 knot breeze. Again the gains were all made on the right hand side of the first beat. Lalli had positioned himself perfectly to take best advantage and he led around the first windward mark. In second was Pacinotti ahead of John Kilroy on USA 13131 Samba Pa Ti in third, and Taselaar in fourth. These four held their positions around the leeward gate. On the second beat Pacinotti found some advantage out on the left of the course and by the second windward mark had edged past Lalli to take the lead. On the final downwind Pacinotti had to hold off a sustained attack from Lalli, but at the finish Pacinotti took the gun from Lalli in second, Kilroy in third, Taselaar in fourth and Carroll in fifth.

So at the end of Day 1 of the Malcesine edition of the 2011 Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series, Lanfranco Cirillo leads the regatta with 12 points from Jason Carroll in second, also with 12 points, and Luca Lalli in third with 20 points. Fourth at the end of the first day is Alessio Marinelli with 25 points and in fifth is Carlo Alberini with 31 points.

Racing continues tomorrow Saturday 16 July with three more races scheduled, with the regatta coming to a climax on Sunday 17 July.

TOP TEN RESULTS (After 3 Races)
1.) Lanfranco Cirillo/Michelle Paoletti, Fantastica; 4-1-7 = 12
2.) Jason Carroll/Andy Horton, ARGO; 5-2-5 = 12 
3.) Luca Lalli/Lorenzo Bressani, B-Lin Sailing.com; 7-11-2 = 20
4.) Alessio Marinelli/Riccardo Simoneschi, Audi Fratelli Giacomel Armonia; 3-6-16 = 25 
5.) Carlo Alberini/Enrico Fonda, Calvi Network; 1-14-11 = 26
6.) John Porter/Jonathan McKee, Full Throttle; 9-13-10 = 32
7.) Pieter Taselaar/Tom Slingsby, Bliksem; 21-5-4 = 35 
8.) Wolfgang Stolz/Jesper Radich, Opus One; 13-4-18 = 35
9.) Joe Woods/Joe Glandfield, Red; 16-10-9 = 35
10.) Antonello Morina/Paolo Cian, Sei Tu 32; 2-17-19 = 38
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1.) John Kilroy, Samba Pa Ti
2.) Filippo Pacinotti, Brontolo HH
3.) Alessio Marinelli, Audi Fratelli Giacomel Armonia
4.) Lanfranco Cirillo, Fantastica
5.) Edoardo Lupi, Torpyone
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