2016 Melges 24 European Sailing Series - World Champion Chris Rast Showing His Strength Leading in Portoroz
April 2, 2016 - Porotoroz, Slovenia - Opposite to the yesterday's weather forecast for today the gods of winds continued to play the April Fools' games on the bay near to Portoroz today keeping the Melges 24 fleet waiting ashore for more wind to come. Postponement in the morning was awarded with the four successful starts in the afternoon on the second day of the 2016 Melges 24 European Sailing Series' season opener in Portoroz, Slovenia.
No good from the plan to begin the day earlier - the fleet went out around 2 pm to take advantage of the afternoon westerly breeze with velocity of no more than 6-8 knots with some gusts of 10 knots. Principal Race Officer Bojan Gale was happy with the harvest of the day - four races executed in light winds and no need for changing the race course made also the sailors happy even they were struggling between the shifts and in wind holes during the third race.
Chris Rast and EFG Bank SUI684 - photo IM24CA/Andrea Carloni
After four races sailed the situation for the top six teams out of the twenty six is close in points and the situation could turn to be even closer after the fifth race sailed and the discard of their worse result. Reigning Melges 24 world champion Christopher Rast accompanied by another Melges 24 world champion Flavio Favini on EFG Bank (Switzerland) is leading as the flag ship of the fleet in total of 22 points, collecting one bullet, second, seventh and twelfth result today. Three points behind on the second position with the series of 3-5-3-14 is surprisingly strong Sergei Shevtshov's Stribog from Russia. With the longest travel from Moscow to Portoroz it's great to see Stribog as the only representative from Russia in Melges 24 fleet here.
FGF Sailing Team HUN728 with Robert Bakoczy in helm - photo IM24CA/Andrea Carloni
Great performance was shown from the young, but well experienced Hungarian team, Kalman Rozsnyay's FGF Sailing Team with Robert Bakoczy helming. They succeeded to get the bullet from the third, the trickiest race to beautify their series of 18-4-5, and are three points behind of the second position.
Andrea Racchelli's Altea ITA735 - photo IM24CA/Andrea Carloni
Andrea Rachelli's Altea (ITA) managed to gain two bullets, but the tenth and seventeenth results in addition gave to Altea 29 points in total and the fourth position, one point separating them from the third place. Hungarian Seven-Five-Nine with Akos Csolto helming is on the fifth position with 31 points followed by the winner of the 2015 Melges 24 European Sailing Series, Miles Quinton's Gill Race Team from UK, one point behind from the fifth place.
The best Corinthian team after second day is Swiss Cinghi-Aile with Michael Good helming. The series of 4-17-15-11 gives them the eleventh position in the overall ranking. The second best Corinthian and twelfth in the overall ranking is the local team Atena helmed by Jure Jerkovic, tied on points with Cinghi-Aile.
Saturday was ending with a well-known Portoroz sailors' dinner in Portoroz Marina restaurant as a cherry on top of the cake. Friendly Melges 24 fleet had a really good time and the great hospitality of the hosting Portoroz Yacht Club and Portoroz Marina was very much appreciated.
The dinner in the Portoroz Marina restaurant - photo IM24CA/Andrea Carloni
The racing will resume on Sunday morning with the first warning signal scheduled at 10:55.
Day 2 video highlights edited by ZGN/Simona Bellobuono
Porotoroz Yacht Club together with Portoroz Marina is hosting the first event of the world famous Melges 24 European Sailing Series initiated by the International Melges 24 Class Association. The event, valid also as the Melges 24 Open Slovenian National Championship and the first event of the Melges 24 Italian Sailing Series under the name of the Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta, will end on Sunday April, after a series of nine races with a discard that will enter in play after the conclusion of the fifth race.
Read for more about the series at melges24.com/europeansailingseries