Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resources 2022 - LEADERBOARD
Product Feature
J Boats J/70
J Boats J/70

Ocean BMW Melges 24 Europeans at Torquay - Overall

by Fiona Brown / IMCA 23 Sep 2005 18:31 BST
Final day action from the Melges 24 Europeans © Richard Langdon / www.oceanimages.co.uk

Gabrio Zandona & Giovanni Maspero's Joe Fly Team victorious

Today's final race of the Ocean BMW Melges 24 European Championship in Torquay was the most exciting yet in what has been an absolutely gripping regatta. Three boats were in serious contention – Andrea Racchelli sailing Altea (55 points), Gabrio Zandona sailing Joe Fly for Giovanni Maspero (56 points) and Stuart Rix sailing Gill for Quentin Strauss (62 points) – and from the opening moments we knew we were in for a battle royal.

For the first time all week the wind was up at around 14 knots from the west and by the start initial rain had given way to broken sunshine. PRO Peter Rumbelow and the Royal Torbay's excellent race committee got the fifty competitors away at the first attempt and from the gun it was Gill that took control. Altea had a terrible start and their grip on the title was disastrously loosened at that moment. Joe Fly again went for the conservative approach and managed a moderate though not glowing start.

At the first weather mark it was Gill first from Tim Collins in Easy Tiger with Paul Brotherton aboard Ian Cleaver's Highland Heritage 3rd, Antoine Frickey sailing Benjamin Cohen’s Sogeti 4th, Alba Batzill with Eddy Eich's No Woman No Cry 5th and John Pollard of Excellent 6th. This leading group got away from the pack where Joe Fly rounded 11th with Altea back in 20th.

At the second weather mark Gill were just hanging onto their lead with Sogeti now up to 2nd followed by Easy Tiger, Excellent, Highland Heritage and No Woman No Cry. Joe Fly had pulled up to 8th putting them just one point behind Gill for the Championship. Back in the scrum Altea was struggling and rounded 22nd with no hope left of recovery. The boats took off down wind and with every gybe the positions altered. At the final leeward gate Joe Fly had pulled up into 7th and onto equal points with Gill but their normally impeccable crew work faltered momentarily and the kite ended up under the boat loosing them valuable seconds and giving Gill a brief breathing space. Despite this potential disaster Joe Fly's crew rapidly had the situation back under control and she was off up the beat like a scalded cat.

By the final weather mark Gill were still just holding off the leading group but Excellent had now pulled up into 2nd and was closely followed by Sogeti, Easy Tiger, Highland Heritage and No Woman No Cry. Joe Fly had done an impressive job up the beat rounding back in 7th and still on equal points with Gill as the set off towards the finish.

Knowing they had to gain one more place over Gill to retain the European Crown Joe Fly gybed early. Gill meanwhile had their work cut out trying to hold onto the lead and spectators were kept on the edge of their seats as the leading boats jostled for position. In the closing moments Excellent slid past Gill and they crossed the line 1st and 2nd respectively, closely followed by Sogeti, Easy Tiger, Highland Heritage and No Woman No Cry. Although Joy Fly's early gybe hadn't gained them any places they held onto 7th and took victory by just one point with joyous celebrations as they crossed the line for helm Gabrio Zandona and his crew of Daniele Cassinari, Federico Michetti, Monica Ratipoldi and owner Giovanni Maspero.

In the overall standings Gabrio Zandona helming Giovanni Maspero's Joe Fly Team takes the Giorgio Zuccoli European Championship Trophy with Stuart Rix, helming Gill for Quentin Strauss 2nd and Andrea Racchelli of Altea 3rd. 4th place overall and the Corinthian (all amateur) Trophy goes to Alba Batzill helming No Woman No Cry for Eddy Eich, with Francois Brenac of Phillipe Ligot's Partner & Partners Sailing Team 5th. Other podium slots in the Corinthian Division go to Antoine Albaret of Cotes d'Armour Perros Guirec 2nd and Jerome Aubert in Au Planning 3rd.

For the Joe Fly Team this is a particularly sweet victory, as they almost didn't make the regatta when a sleeping lorry driver wrote off their boat and tow truck as Federico Michetti changed a tyre on the hard shoulder on his way to the regatta. Fortunately Federico suffered only a small scratch and they were able to secure the loan of a replacement boat in time. Although this is Gabrio Zandona's first Melges 24 European Title his crew were the defending champions, having won the trophy with their previous helm, Luca Santella, in Helsinki in 2003.

Special thanks must go to the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, whose team has done a spectacular job of organising the regatta both afloat and ashore, to the International Jury led by Tony O'Gorman and to event sponsors Ocean BMW, WKD Original Vodka Blue, Devoti Sailing, North Sails UK Ltd, Westaway Sails and Musto Ltd for their generous support.

The 2005 Melges 24 World Championship will take place at the Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo, Florida, USA from 11 to 16 December.

Full results, images and additional information are available from www.melges24.com

Related Articles

Bacardi Winter Series Event 1 at Biscayne Bay
Richard Witzel on 'Rowdy' secures J/70 glory A gorgeous morning greeted teams on Biscayne Bay, Miami for day 2 at Bacardi Winter Series Event 1. However, it was an altogether different race track compared to Saturday, with a light breeze coming in from south-south east & most of the chop dissipated. Posted on 20 Dec 2021
Tight racing opens Bacardi Winter Series Event 1
Racing got under way to schedule on day one Racing got under way to schedule on day one at the Bacardi Winter series 1 in Miami on Saturday 18 December 2021. Posted on 19 Dec 2021
Bacardi Invitational Winter Series 1 opens
40 J/70 and Melges 24 teams prepare in Miami The Bacardi Winter Series 1 will host around 40 teams in Miami this weekend. The regatta will be comprised of the J70 and the Melges 24 fleets, racing out of Shake-A-Leg on Biscayne Bay. Posted on 17 Dec 2021
U.S. Melges 24s announce National Ranking Series
Schedule for 2022 ready for you to plan your year The U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USM24CA) is proud to present its National Ranking Series schedule for 2022. Posted on 16 Dec 2021
Inaugural Melges 24 Croatian Nationals
Šime Fantela & Team Tutta Forza claim the win On November 19-21 the inaugural Melges 24 Croatian National Championship was held in Split, organized by the JK Mornar. Posted on 25 Nov 2021
Melges 24 Bushwhacker Cup at Pensacola
The travel was worth the trouble, as Canadian team lifts trophy Yes, the travel was worth the trouble. Canadian Richard Reid's 'Zingara' came all the way from Port Credit, Ont, to Northwest Florida to win first place overall in the 2021 Bushwhacker Cup hosted by Pensacola Yacht Club. Posted on 16 Nov 2021
IM24CA on course for 2022
Members from all around the world met virtually on November 6 for the Annual General Meeting The World Council of IM24CA, which consists of the National Class Association chairs and the IM24CA Executive Committee members from all around the world met virtually on Nov 6 for the Annual General Meeting to discuss the past Melges 24 season Posted on 15 Nov 2021
Talbot Wilson on the 2021 Bushwacker Cup
An interview with Talbot Wilson on the 2021 Melges 24 Bushwacker Cup I checked in with Talbot Wilson, marketing and publicity officer for the 2021 Bushwacker Cup, via email, to learn more about this exciting One Design regatta. Posted on 9 Nov 2021
Bushwhacker Week - Pensacola is regatta ready
Practice, North Sails clinic, briefing and party kicks off the event on Friday Welcome to the countdown to the Pensacola Yacht Club's 2021 Melges 24 Bushwhacker Cup. Practice races, final registration, a North Sails clinic, the competitors briefing, and a party kick it off Friday (Nov 12). Posted on 9 Nov 2021
Pensacola's Bushwhacker Cup set for record turnout
Melges 24 event living up to its reputation as a competitive, fun regatta The Melges 24 Bushwhacker Cup is living up to its reputation as a competitive, fun regatta. With one month to the first warning, entries are equal to the numbers in the previous Pensacola event. Posted on 14 Oct 2021