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Italy J/80 Match Race Act III

by Associazione Italiana di Classe J80 10 Mar 06:54 GMT
J/80 Challenge - Act 3 © J-Boats

Last weekend promised to be a disaster. After a very unfortunate date in November, characterized by the well-known southwesterly wind that caused damage on the Ligurian coast, the rescheduled J/80 Challenge - Act 3 of Santa Margherita, forcibly postponed to February, seemed destined for the same end.

The weekend weather forecast: strong southwesterlies 20-25 kts plus and two meter (6 ft) waves in the Gulf of Tigullio, therefore no Match Race.

Saturday- Near Gales

To save the event, the instructions defined the possibility of opting for umpired fleet racing. It was with this format that the four contenders faced each other on Saturday, near Monte di Portofino, for four fun races. The last race saw a significant increase in wind speeds of up to over 25 knots. After a whirlwind of alternating positions, in the fourth race- the one with the discard - the result saw Piero Cardone prevail on a tiebreaker over Alessandro Bachi. Donald Hart, who started with a second in the first race, had more difficulty in the last tests and ended up third in the provisional standings.

Sunday- Brilliant Sunshine

On Sunday, the fleet was treated to a completely different scenario: the waves and the wind had completely disappeared. Patiently waiting until late morning, when a splendid rainbow rose against the background of the city, sunshine, and a sea breeze broke out for a lovely day of match racing.

The regatta committee, led by Alassino Andrea Gavaldo, kicked off the racing by midday. The first race produced a match race between Bachi and Cardone. After a flurry of pre-start maneuvers, Bachin managed to inflict a foul on Cardone. Then, minutes later, Cardone did the same to Bachi to cancel out the earlier foul. After a hard-fought race, Cardone beat Bachi. In the second match, Hart faced off against Stefano Manara and the two fought "mano-a-mano" in the pre-start. In the end, Hart took the win.

The outcome of those two races produced the final match between Bachi and Cardone. Again, the two applied a flurry of maneuvers to try to pin the other boat. After the start, and a tacking duel up the first beat, Bachi led by a length at the windward mark. Downwind, Cardone initiated a gybing duel and ultimately shot past Bachi to continue for the win.

The next Match Race event in Zone I will involve the crews of the resurgent J/24 class in May just south of Rome.

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