Please select your home edition
Edition
Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - LEADERBOARD

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

Simon 'Fumesy' Russell passes away
One of sailing's great characters has been taken from us by Covid One of sailing's great characters has been taken from us by Covid. Simon Russell, known by all as Fumesy, suddenly passed away on Tuesday. Posted on 6 Jan
Melges 24 class looking forward to 2021
Chair Laura Grondin pleased with the status of the class The World Council of the IM24CA held its Annual General Meeting virtually with a review of the 2020 season's activities along with approving the budget, rule changes and regulations that govern the Class. Posted on 14 Nov 2020
MHYC announces Super Group Spring Regatta
A new regatta to promote competition in Sydney for a range of sports yachts Middle Harbour Yacht Club has announced a new regatta to promote competition in Sydney for a range of sports yachts with asymmetric gennakers. Posted on 23 Oct 2020
Triple Crown grants fund Olympic aspirations
Another successful Triple Crown has come and gone at Oakcliff Another successful Triple Crown has come and gone at Oakcliff. As the first year of the 2024 quad, the focus on giving spreading the support with younger sailors. Grants given to winners help them on their long-term Olympic journey. Posted on 8 Oct 2020
Melges 24 European Sailing Series Trieste overall
Nefeli wins Trieste regatta, White Room wins series overall At the final event of the 2020 Melges 24 European Sailing Series in Trieste, Italy, Peter Karrie's team Nefeli, from Germany, secured the regatta win. Michael Tarabochia's team White Room, from Germany, confirmed the overall victory of the series. Posted on 5 Oct 2020
Melges 24 European Sailing Series finale day 2
Team Nefeli is leading the pack in Trieste The final stage of the 2020 Melges 24 European Sailing Series is well under way in Trieste, where after the second day of racing Peter Karrie's team on Nefeli GER673 retains the lead. Posted on 4 Oct 2020
Flag-raising indicates the start of Barcolana52
Optimists cancelled due to severe weather warnings but Melges 24s race With the traditional 12 p.m. flag-raising at the SVBG headquarters, Barcolana52 officially opened: an intimate ceremony, dedicated, as every year, to the members of the club. Posted on 3 Oct 2020
Melges 24 European Sailing Series finale preview
It's time to compete for the final points at the Barcolana It's time to compete for the final points of the 2020 Melges 24 European Sailing Series for the international Melges 24 fleet, gathering in the city of the legendary Barcolana for the final stage of the European Sailing Series. Posted on 1 Oct 2020
Melges 24 Regional Championships move to Mobile YC
Hurricane Sally closes down Pensacola YC's marina for 3 months Due to damage from Hurricane Sally, Pensacola Yacht Club must cancel all organized water-based events for the remainder of 2020 including the Melges 24 Atlantic & Gulf Coast Championships for the Bushwhacker Cup. Posted on 1 Oct 2020
Cyclops enter the Sportsboat arena
smarttune 5/16" announced as the latest addition to their smart range Designed specifically for sports and day boats, Cyclops is thrilled to announce the latest addition to their smart range - the smarttune 5/16". Posted on 18 Sep 2020