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Strambapapa and Lenny win Marina Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta

by International Melges 24 Class Association 24 Apr 2023 16:07 BST 21-23 April 2023
Marina Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta 2023 © Uros Kekus Kleva

The past weekend welcomed the Melges 24 sailors from all over Europe at the traditional Marina Portoroz Regatta to kick off the 2023 Melges 24 European Sailing Series.

Reigning European Champion, Michele Paoletti's Strambapapa took the overall victory, whereas 2021 Melges 24 Portoroz Europeans' Corinthian Champion, Tõnu Tõniste's Lenny won the Corinthian division.

Marina Portoroz and YC Marina Portoroz were happy to host 22 teams from 11 nations again since the last time of the Melges 24 Europeans in 2021 September. The sailors were enjoying already famous hospitality and the comfortable venue and facilities of Portoroz; however, the wind did not play that well into the cards of Melges 24 fleet.

According to the PRO David Bartol, it was difficult to deliver all scheduled nine races with light and shifty conditions on all three days with racing abandoned on the first day. "Challenging conditions continued during the weekend when one race was shortened on the upwind leg because of the dropping wind. Charlie on the gate was used several times to change the course. And on the final day, the expected Southerly wind didn't arrive. We moved the racecourse out of the Piran, having a time window of 30 minutes yet for the final race, but no luck. All in all, six races and a discard for the results. Despite the challenging conditions, the teams were quite happy with what we managed to deliver."

Michele Paoletti's Strambapapa (ITA) scored (4)-1-2-2-1-3 and a total of nine points. With that, the reigning Melges 24 European Champion proved to be in great shape.

"Obviously we are very happy with the result and a consistent performance," said Michele Paoletti. "Our style is still the same: a group of friends that want to enjoy the time onboard such a beautiful boat as Melges 24. My group was more or less the same as at the 2022 Europeans in Genova: Giovanna Micol (tactician), Giulia Pignolo (bowman), Davide Bivi (upwind trimmer) and Alexander Harej substituted Pietro Perelli as a downwind trimmer.

"I think that the regatta has been well managed onshore and on water. The RC has been able to run 6 six races in difficult conditions of light wind. It is great that the fleet (of Trieste) is showing new faces of good young Italian Olympic sailors such as Giovanni Coccoluto and Marco Gallo on Melges 24."

A great and equal battle for the second overall place and Corinthian victory was under way between German Disco Volante of Sebastian Gastl with Veit Hemmeter steering the boat. Being second after four races with a 5-point margin ahead of Estonian Lenny, they slipped on the final race scoring 16 points. However, it was for a discard, also Lenny was consistent enough and dropped 11 points from the second race on Day One ending up tied on points. One 3rd result more in Lenny's score was a tiebreaker giving to 2021 Melges 24 Portoroz Europeans' Corinthian Champion of Tõnu Tõniste with Toomas Tõniste, Maiki Saaring, Tammo Otsasoo and Henry Tauts the second place in overall and the Corinthian victory. Disco Volante of Sebastian Gastl with Veit Hemmeter, Julian Stuckl and Constantin Doersch completed the overall podium and was the runner-up of the Corinthian division.

"Sailing in Portoroz has usually been a success for Lenny's team, and this was no exception," said Tõnu Tõniste happily. "It was great to see and sail with old friends and competitors again after a year's break for us from sailing Melges 24! The conditions were challenging, and the winds were light, but despite this, we managed to sail steadily in the top group and win a silver medal in a close race, tied on points with the Germans."

Reigning Corinthian Champion of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series, Chinook of Akos Csolto (HUN) with Botond Weores, Balmaz Litkey and Balasz Tomai were the third-best Corinthian, 4th in overall.

The teams of 11 nations - Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Ukraine, made it to Portoroz to start the busy season of the 2023 Melges 24 European Sailing Series, one culmination of which is the Melges 24 World Championship held in Middelfart, Denmark in June.

Marina Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta 2023: (top ten)

1. Strambapapa ITA689 - Michele Paoletti (4)-1-2-2-1-3 9 pts
2. Lenny EST790 (COR) - Tõnu Tõniste 1-(11)-3-3-6-2 15 pts
3. Disco Volante GER504 (COR) - Veit Hemmeter 5-3-4-1-1-(16) 15 pts
4. Chinook HUN850 (COR) - Akos Csolto 3-7-7-5-5-(9) 27 pts
5. Arkanoe by Montura ITA809 - Sergio Caramel (18)-4-6-15-3-1 29 pts
6. Gilles ITA793 - Pietro D'Alì 7-(10)-5-8-8-5 33 pts
7. Nefeli GER673 - Peter Karrie 14-2-1-10-7-(20) 34 pts
8. Joyrunner CRO792 - Boris Tomic 6-5-(20)-4-13-12 40 pts
9. AleAli Eurocart ITA139 (COR) - Gianfranco Noe 2-16-(21)-12-4-7 41 pts
10. Forever-G ITA501 (COR) Marco Gallo 10-(15)-12-6-10-4 42 pts

Full results of the Marina Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta

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