2011 Böklunder Melges 24 European Championship - Fracassoli Crowned European Champion - Toniste Wins Corinthian Division

Day 5 of the 2011 Böklunder Melges 24 European Championship saw the regatta series come to a close with the final two races completed in breezes ranging from 6 - 10 knots. Overnight leader Carlo Fracassoli on ITA 803 Gullisara, who went into the day with a 22 point advantage, finished the regatta in style with a hard fought win in the first race of the day. Fracassoli's race win initially appeared far from assured however. Rounding the first windward mark in sixth place he clawed his way up to third by the leeward gate before playing the shifty second beat to perfection to take the lead at the second windward mark. Once in front he was totally in control and on the final run to the finish he cruised home to take his third race win of the championship. This result sealed Fracassoli's championship victory with a race to spare and unsurprisingly he and his Italian crew immediately headed for the harbour to begin their victory celebrations. 

Meanwhile the battle for the order of the remaining podium positions was still a close one. Flavio Favini on SUI 782 Blu Moon had gone into the final day in third place, just a single point behind second placed Alberto Bolzan on ITA 716 Saetta. A sixth in the first race for Favini with Bolzan two places back in eighth, handed the advantage to Favini and set up an exciting final race showdown. With Christoffer Sunby on NOR 697 on his way to a comfortable race win, the first windward mark of the 5 leg last race saw Favini and Bolzan locked together in sixth and seventh place, with Favini ahead and keeping a close cover on Bolzan on the first downwind leg. By the first leeward gate however, Bolzan had sneaked through to third with Favini now back in fifth. On a somewhat one sided second beat the roles were reversed, with Favini moving up to third and Bolzan dropping to seventh. The final beat presented few opportunities for changing places and Favini was able to finish in third to secure second place overall. Bolzan came home in sixth to claim the final overall podium position. 

A final day 9,6 scoreline from Petr Fiala on CZE 716 Aloha enabled him to lock down the fourth place which he had looked good for all week. Fiala and his young crew on Aloha had impressed a lot of people with their speed and boat handling during this championship and for sure this is a team with great potential for the future. Having lain in second place early on in this championship, Andrea Racchelli on ITA 735 Altea hit a sticky patch in the middle of the series which dropped him out of contention for the podium. An 11,5 score today however, brought them back up to fifth in the overall standings.

Despite a difficult final day which tumbled him 3 places in the main fleet order to eighth overall, Tonu Toniste on EST 790 Lenny, was ultimately able to able to maintain his advantage over Oyvind Peder Jahre on NOR 751 Storm Capital Sail Racing in the all amateur Corinthian Division. Jahre certainly took the fight to Toniste in the first race today, chalking up a second in the overall fleet as well as a Corinthian race win, whilst Toniste only managed Corinthian twelfth. The final race saw the two Corinthian leaders finish deep in the main fleet, with Toniste 4 places ahead, closing out his Corinthian Melges 24 European Championship victory. A lacklustre performance compared to normal on the last day saw Tiit Vihul on EST 761 Rock City unable to challenge either Jahre or Toniste, but it was still good enough for him to lock down third in the final Corinthian standings.

Final Results after 5 Races


1st Carlo Fracassoli ITA 803 Gullisara 34 points

2nd Flavio Favini SUI 782 Blu Moon 52 points

3rd Alberto Bolzan ITA 716 Saetta 56 points

4th Petr Fiala CZE 752 Aloha 66 points

5th Andrea Racchelli ITA 735 91 points

Corinthian Division:

1st Tonu Toniste EST 790 Lenny 29 points

2nd Oyvind Peder Jahre NOR 751 Storm Capital Sail Racing 33 points

3rd Tiit Vihul EST 761 Rock City 48 points 

Racing in the 2011 Böklunder Melges 24 European Championship series began on Sunday 24th July and the ten race series ran through until Thursday 28 July.

Media representatives who would like to information about the event are asked to contact IM24CA Media Coordinator Fiona Brown on fiona.brown@melges24.com.

Photos by Pierrick Contin

Aarhus Sailing Club and the International Melges 24 Class would like to thank event title sponsor Böklunder for their most generous support of the 2011 Böklunder Melges 24 European Championship.  Böklunder is the producer of a delicious range of meat and sausage products.
The 2011 Böklunder Melges 24 European Championship will run from 22 to 28 July. Registration will open on the morning of Friday 22 July, there will be practice racing on Saturday 23 July and Championship racing will run from Sunday 24 to Thursday 28 July inclusive. You can keep up with all the latest news and developments from the 2011 Böklunder Melges 24 World Championship via the Championship Facebook Page, the event web site and www.melges24.com.

The 2011 Böklunder Melges 24 European Championship is sponsored and supported by:-

Henri Lloyd 
Aarhus Kommune
Sport Aarhus Events
Idraetssamvirket Aarhus
Kongres Kompagniet
Ullman Sails 
Sailing Aarhus

The Melges 24 is designed by Reichel Pugh and considered the most unique one design sportsboat in the world as well as one of the fastest-growing classes of high performance yachts. For more information please visit the official website of theInternational Melges 24 Class Association.

For more information please contact:

Justin Chisholm
International Melges 24 Class Event Press Officer
Skype justinchis
Tel +44 7769 938722

Fiona Brown
International Melges 24 Class Administrator & Media Coordinator
Skype fpbrown
Tel +44 7711 718470

Ken Holst
Press Coordinator
Sailing Aarhus
Tel +45 61 65 63 73

René Bruun
Chairman Danish Melges 24 Association
Tel +45 41 12 11 24

2011 Melges 24 European Champion - Gullisara ITA803 with Carlo Fracassoli at the helm

2011 Melges 24 European Champion - Gullisara ITA803 with Carlo Fracassoli at the helm

Gullisara ITA803 of Carlo Fracassoli - Melges 24 European Champion 2011

Böklunder Melges 24 European Championship 2011 - European champion Gullisara with Carlo Fracassoli at the helm - photo Pierrick Contin

2011 Böklunder Melges 24 Europeans in Aarhus, Denmark - Corinthian podium - Lenny EST790 of Tõnu Tõniste, Storm Capital Sail Racing NOR751 of Peder Jahre and Rock City EST761 of Tiit Vihul

Lenny EST790 of Tõnu Tõniste at the 2011 Böklunder Melges 24 Europeans in Aarhus, Denmark

Lenny EST790 of Tõnu Tõniste - 2011 Corinthian Melges 24 European Champion