STUART RIX IN GILL WINS IN SCARLINO - LUCA VALERIO IS THE NEW ITALIAN CHAMPION
From Beppe Zavonone of the Italian Class - The breeze in the Follonica gulf, on time every afternoon in the first summer days of 2004, didn't fully satisfy the forty Melges24 teams competing in Scarlino. Twelve races were held (1-4-4-3) with sun and breeze never exceeding 10-12 knots, with no planning.
Thursday, in the only race of the day, the three teams in shape at the moment jumped ahead: Sebastian Col (P&P) wins over Quentin Strauss (Gill) and Alina, the same boats of the final podium. The wind died before the second race could be ended.
Friday, after the first chaotic start, the race commitee decided to apply the black flag rule, repeating it in all of the following races. Many impulsive and brilliant helmsman payed a high price. With four race held that day, one discard in the scoring was available. Getting back to land at 8 p.m., the french boat P&P was ahead, with a victory in race 3. Race 2 was won by Egidio Babbi and his multinational crew, race 4 by Jean Francois Cruette on Scutum. Luca Santella helmsman on Joe Fly wins the last race of the day, leaving the next day owing to some health problems. The classes wishes him to get well soon.
Warming up the spirit of the crews, a night time "aperitivo" offered by Chivas Regal at the Volvo stand.
Saturday four more races in the sun, with extremely light breeze. Silvio Santoni on Devotissimo strikes the first victory, followed in the next race by Frickey Antoine on Sogeti (Monaco), an habitual guest of the italian Volvo Cup, along with other french crews. Race 8, third race of the day, goes to Runa - helmsman Furio Monaco, first time on Melges after many victories on Beneteau 25. Race 9 was won by ING Lease, helmsman Luca Stefanini. Back on the docks, welcoming the tires sailors, a buffet offered by Volvo and a loud and cheerful Street Band.
Even lighter breeze on Sunday, and three races held, to fulfill the program. Algae and some waste floating in the water on the race corse were an additional challege, clinging to the rudders. This time it's Zezè Zampori on Ballalinda Flag (Gianni Sommariva tactician) winning, another crew that has just moved from the Beneteau 25, then Gill decided it was time to take the game seriously, winning the last two races and the Italian Open Championship.
An excellent second place goes to Alina (Maurizio Abbà - helmsman Luca Valerio) along with the Italian Champion title. Third place for the french Partners & Partners, winners of the SNIM.
Fourth place to Nicola Celon, in his first season on Melges, fifth for Hagar (Giovanni Giordo with Matteo Ivaldi tactician).
Banca BSI wins the jib offered by North Sails Italia. The italian Melges 24 fleet will be racing again in Domaso in mid july.
1 GBR-431 GILL, STUART RIX
2 ITA-409 ALINA, LUCA VALERIO
3 FRA-571 PARTNERS & PARTNERS, SEBASTIEN COL
4 ITA-139 ALE ALI, CELON NICOLA
5 ITA-490 HAGAR, GIORDO GIOVANNI
6 ITA-438 ALTEA, RACCHELLI ANDREA
7 MON-429 SOGETI, FRICKEY ANTOINE
8 ITA-561 DEVOTISSIMO, SANTONI SILVIO
9 ITA-579 BANCA BSI, FELCI ANDREA
10 ITA-574 FIREBOLT, MARTINEZ ROBERTO
11 FRA-321 SCUTUM, JEAN FRANCOIS CRUETTE
12 ITA-550 JOE FLY, LUCA SANTELLA/G. MASPERO
13 ITA-421 BALLALINDA FLAG, ZAMPORI ALESSANDRO
14 FRA- 461 EURO VOILES, CHRISTOPHE BARRUE
15 ITA-572 CESENA CITTA MALAT, BABBI EGIDIO
16 ITA-584 RUNA, FURIO MONACO
17 ITA-581 MAS AMANTES, STEFANINI LUCA
18 ITA-468 GIOGI, MATTEO BALESTRERO
19 ITA-583 SHEREKHAN, PAOLO SEMERARO
20 ITA-567 CONTE OF FLORENCE, MAGNI ANDREA
21 ITA-475 ETA BETA CUTUGNO, JEAN FRANCOIS
22 ITA-356 BOY'S TOY, BODINI LORENZO
23 ITA-543 MAGA, WURTZ GABRIELE
24 ITA-563 PAOLA FRANI, MAGNANI MASSIMO
25 ITA-413 MELG'HIC TAZ, GRISOLI GIANLUCA
26 ITA-122 LAPIN G, MARANZANA/Y INGHILESI
27 ITA-577 BARNI, GORLA GIORGIO
28 ITA-585 585, PAOLO BRESCIA
29 ITA-460 RAPIDE CHARLIE, CORRADI RAFFAELLO
30 ITA-562 MAGICA, POGGI ALESSANDRO
31 FRA-170 GIVE ME FIVE, ADRIEN FOLLIN
32 FRA-252 J'GAULO
33 FRA-323 VILLE DE SAIN TROPEZ, THIBAUT GARNOTEL
34 ITA-456 MELGINO'S, GIANFRANCO BIANCHI
35 FRA- 471 MU, EMMANUEL NEBOUT
36 FRA-503 VALLECRIN, BERNARD REYNIER
37 ITA-229 BOGIANEN, LUIGI BUZZI
38 ITA-528 SE..GODEMO, MONTANARIELLO VINCENZO
39 SUI-578 MUSIC 55, RUEDI HUBER
40 ITA-487 NEW RANT, PALLESCHI ANDREA