Melges 32 Pre-Worlds Completed, Pro-Am Provides Spectacle For Scores of Trapani Spectators

24 August 2015

Trapani, Italy - With slight cloud cover and a strong southerly breeze seen for the first time since teams began arriving in Trapani, the fleet pushed away from the regatta village for one day of Pre-Worlds racing. Like a pre-season football game, teams are eager to perform well, but not tip their hand and use up their best efforts. With wind ranging between 16-22 knots, the tightness of racing and pile ups at the marks gave a preview of what is to come when the World Championship officially starts on Wednesday.

After two practice starts, showing some solid legs to the left corner of the race course, Yukihiro Ishida’s Yasha Samurai, Roberto Tomasini Grinover’s Robertissima, Roberto Mazzucato's Margherita and Jason Carroll's Argo charged hard to the top mark and looked to be in good shape. Typical of Melges 32 big fleet racing, the spread between the twenty-two teams was minimal and with a slight adverse current, those who called a thin layline found themselves rafted with boats to windward and leeward, struggling to get around the weather mark.

Once the dust settled, the fleet was fully planing downwind, Ishida continued to lead with Tomasini Grinover, Alec Cutler’s Hedgehog, Mazzucato and Ryan DeVos’ Volpe close on their tail. The racing remained tight for one more lap, and after a solid downwind, DeVos was able to defend his 2014 Pre-Worlds title, something they hope will be a precursor to something great come Sunday.

"The racing today was spectacular. Trapani has given us a wide range of conditions in just the past few days, and we are really looking forward to five days of tight racing. The competitor village, racing area and town of Trapani is over the top and we are having a lot of fun," commented DeVos after the win.

With a lay-day on the schedule for Tuesday, teams will either opt for one more day of practice to polish any of their speed and crew work, or take the day off, enjoy the sights of Trapani and have a day of relaxation before five intense days of racing.

Once back to the harbor, teams quickly regrouped, greeted their guest amateurs and headed just a few hundred yards from the marina village for the start of the Pro-Am Regatta. Sailing in two fleets with the top five from each group advancing to the finals, the large number of shoreside spectators were treated to plenty of action with a gusty 15 knots of breeze spreading out over the confined area.

With a reaching race course (no spinnakers), Melges 32s were still able to stretch their legs and show plenty of speed to the delight of their on-board guests. In the end, it was longtime class veteran Filippo Pacinotti and his well dressed team on Brontolo winning the Worlds Pro-Am with loud cheers from the crowd.

A very special thank you to Capitaneria di Porto di Trapani as the Harbor Regatta would not have been possible without their collaboration and coordination of the ferry arrival, and most especially to the Comitato Organizzatore Trapani for involving the town. It was incredible to get back to shore with the village crowded and filled with warm Sicilian hospitality. Their enthusiasm is contagious and it made the prize giving ceremony the very best. A super special thanks as always to B.Plan Sport & Events (BPSE) in cooperation with Melges Europe as they are both responsible for the excellent overall efforts and organization of the World Championship in Trapani.

Teams will gather for a Worlds dinner under the regatta village tent, concluding with a fireworks show that put a cap on a fun, exciting day of racing in Trapani!

Looking ahead to the forthcoming World Championship — five days of very intense, all-out, flat-out racing are scheduled. Racing commences on Wednesday, 26 August driven by the impeccable Anderson Reggio as PRO supported by a very high-level race committee which includes Pietro Lo Giudice, Antonio Mercadante, Michele Giacalone and Fausto Garuccio. Supporting them are six of the most experienced and outstanding International Judges including Jury President Gerard Bossè (FRA), Perez Andres (ESP), Silva Santos Manel (POR), Bernardo Camboni (ITA), Chief Umpire Marco Mercuriali (ITA), and Bruno Ampola (ITA).

As with all other Melges 32 events in Europe and around the world, racing updates will be posted online at the Official Audi Melges 32 Facebook Page. Tune in for the latest racing information, results, video interviews, and photos. Race reports, press releases and photos will be available online each day post racing at melges32.com.

1.) Ryan DeVos/Mark Mendelblatt; Volpe
2.) Filippo Pacinotti/Gabrio Zandona; Brontolo HH
3.) Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta
4.) Richard Goransson/Mike Buckley, Inga From Sweden
5.) Keisuke Suzuki/Nicolai Sehested; Swing
View Full 2015 Pre-Worlds Results

1.) Filippo Pacinotti/Gabrio Zandona; Brontolo HH
2.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton; Argo
3.) Valentin Zavadnikov/Andy Horton; Synergy GT

View 2015 Pre-Worlds Photo Gallery
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2015 Melges 32 Audi-Tron Sailing Series

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In addition to main sponsor Audi, the Audi-Tron Sailing Series is supported by official sponsors Kuehne+Nagel, Technical Partners Torqeedo, Caffe Vergnano, Bavaria, Usail, Nuova Jolly and The Suite Club.