April 7, 2019 - Portoroz, Slovenia - The third day of the Marina Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta, the season opener of the 2019 Melges 24 European Sailing Series, concluded the winner and shuffled the cards among Top Five. Estonian Lenny, taking early lead since the first day, confirmed its victory with eleven point margin ahead of Italian Taki 4 and Arkanoe by Montura completing the podium - both in overall and Corinthian rankings. Thirty boats from all over the Europe were representing ten countries in the first event of the season.
Melges 24 fleet in Portoroz - Day Three of the 2019 Melges 24 European Sailing Series' 1st event. Photo (c) Andrea Carloni/IM24CA/ZGN
The morning in Portoroz was nice and sunny, but not very windy. However, the wind picked up as much as necessary to start the Race Five at 12.05 with South-Westerly wind of 6 knots. The Race Committee was signalling the wind shift to the left in the first gate, but the wind remained stable and steady enough to complete the race. Completion the race five was very much expected since the discard of the worse result came into play after this race.
Eddy Eich's Musto Racing GER803 with Oliver Oczycz on helm to take the solid first bullet of the regatta. Photo (c) Andrea Carloni/IM24CA/ZGN
Light conditions favoured the stalwart of the class from Germany, Eddy Eich's Musto Racing GER803 with Oliver Oczycz in helm to take the solid first bullet of the regatta. Great performance by Davide Rapotez' Destriero ITA579 from Trieste who was the second to cross the finishing line followed by the current regatta leader Lenny EST790 of Tõnu Tõniste as third, Hungarian FGF Sailing Team HUN728 of Robert Bakoczy fourth and Taki 4 ITA778 of Marco Zammarchi with Niccolo Bertola in helm fifth.
Since the wind dropped dramatically and after waiting for thirty minutes on the water, it was clear that no races can be sailed anymore today. With a score of 1-3-2-(8)-3 and 9 points in total past multi-time Melges 24 Corinthian European and World Champion Lenny EST790 with Tõnu Tõniste, Toomas Tõniste, Maiki Saaring, Tammo Otsasoo and Ants Haavel confirmed the solid victory of the Marina Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta, which is also their first ever victory in the Melges 24 European Sailing Series in overall ranking.
The winner team of the Marina Portoroz Melges 24 regatta 2019 Lenny EST790 with Tõnu Tõniste, Toomas Tõniste, Maiki Saaring, Tammo Otsasoo and Ants Haavel . Photo (c) Andrea Carloni/IM24CA/ZGN
Interview with Tõnu Tõniste of LENNY EST790 - Interview edited by Stefano Bareggi / Zerogradinord
Lenny's helm Tõnu Tõniste was really happy about their victory in Portoroz, since the last time when they were racing, was in past September. "In the first place I would like to thank my super team - we had a great team work! As the day started, we were hoping that not many races will be sailed to keep our success, but on the other hand this is the first event of the season and we want to train and practice. Today's third result was enough to keep the rivals behind our back and to conclude, it was very nice sailing here!"
The second classified in Portoroz - Taki 4 ITA778 of Marco Zammarchi with Niccolo Bertola, Giacomo Fossati, Giovanni Bannetta and Mattia Maviglia. - Photo (c) Andrea Carloni/IM24CA/ZGN
Italian crew Taki 4 ITA778 of Marco Zammarchi, also Melges 24 Corinthian European and World Champion, with Niccolo Bertola, Giacomo Fossati, Giovanni Bannetta and Mattia Maviglia scored (7)-5-4-6-5 and 20 pts in total for the second classification.
Interview with Niccolo Bertola, the helm of TAKI 4 ITA778. Interview edited by Stefano Beraggi / Zerogradinord
Today's 14th place and the total score of 2-2-3-(31UFD)-14 was enough for Sergio Caramel's Arkanoe by Montura ITA809 with Filippo Orvieto, Riccardo Gomiero, Margherita Zanuso and Federico Gomiero to climb back to complete the podium, only one point separating them from the second place. The same teams completed also the Corinthian podium in Portoroz.
Sergio Caramel's Arkanoe by Montura ITA809 with Filippo Orvieto, Riccardo Gomiero, Margherita Zanuso and Federico Gomiero - third classified at the Marina Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta 2019. Photo (c) Andrea Carloni/IM24CA/ZGN
The competition was really tight in Top 8, for the second to eighth classified teams, with just six points covering them. Very consistent racing of Miles Quinton's Gill Race TeamGBR694 with Geoff Carveth in helm with 22 points in total resulted to the fourth place, followed by Akos Csolto's Seven Five Nine HUN759 completing Top 5, one point behind.
Top 8 after 5 races:
1. LENNY EST790 - Corinthian - Tõnu Tõniste - 1-3-2-(8)-3 9 pts
2. TAKI 4 ITA778 - Corinthian - Niccolo Bertola - (7)-5-4-6-5 20 pts
3. ARKANOE BY MONTURA - Corinthian - Sergio Caramel - 2-2-3-(31UFD)-14 21 pts
4. GILL RACE TEAM GBR694 - Corinthian - Geoff Carveth - 4-6-6-(10)-6 22 pts
5. SEVEN FIVE NINE HUN759 - Corinthian - Akos Csolto - 8-1-1-(15)-13 23 pts
6. FGF SAILING TEAM HUN728 - Robert Bakoczy - (31)-7-5-9-4 25 pts
7. WHITE ROOM GER677 - Corinthian - Luis Tarabochia - 9-(10)-7-1-9 26 pts
8. ARCTUR UKR661 - Corinthian - Vasyl Gureyev - 3-(21)-9-3-11 26 pts
The International Melges 24 Class Association would like to thank YC Marina Portoroz and Marina Portoroz along with Slovenian Melges 24 Class Association and all the sponsors and supporters for hosting this traditional season opener of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series. Next year Portoroz will host the Melges 24 European Championship as a result of great and long-time experience and sailors' very positive feedback about the venue, organization and great hospitality. From Slovenia the series will move to the neighbouring Italy, where on May 3-5 will take place the next step of the series, Coppa Italia Franco Rao, 1st Act of the Italian Melges24Tour.