With 65 boats from 17 nations taking part last weekend's Volvo Cup in Riva, the final event in this year's Melges 24 Volvo Cup series, was the perfect warm up event for the forthcoming Melges 24 World Championship. It was a challenging regatta, particularly during the first two days when a weather system pushed a series of thunderstorms over the area giving an unusual wind direction. The second two days the wind switched back to its more regular southerly but it was still very shifty giving the crews a great deal to think about. Fortunately which ever direction the wind came from there was wind with the breeze ranging from 10 to 18 knots.
From the outset the current Volvo Cup top ranking teams put on a great show: Gullisara ITA-803, Blu Moon SUI-825, Giogi ITA-693, Saetta ITA-716, Little Wing ITA-798. Gullisara ITA-803 has been showing some very fast starts in the series while Giogi ITA-693, with past Melges 24 World Champion Nicola Celon calling tactics, has also shown great form. Flavio Favini and the team aboard Franco Rossini's Blu Moon can always be relied upon for a steady performance and the visiting crews also demonstrated that the standard of racing in the Melges 24 Class continues to get tighter and tighter.
Ultimately it was Gullisara who was victorious at the Riva Volvo Cup and Blu Moon wins the 2012 Melges24 Volvo Cup. With just two over weeks to go until the start of the Melges 24 Worlds these teams will surely be hoping for victory in that arena too when the fleet will swell to 128 boats and will race as two fleets.
Photos for this report courtesy of www.robertomarci.com