Thursday, 13 May 2010
Melges 32s going flying from Cagliari, Sardinia, in the European Championships. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi, courtesy DabliuSailProject.
by Joy Dunigan
The very first Melges 32 European Championship sponsored by Audi takes place this weekend, May 13-16, in beautiful Cagliari, Italy. Seventeen teams from eight countries have gathered in Sardinia, making it one of the most diversified fleets ever.
Although not part of the famed 2010 Audi Sailing Series, the event promises great excitement with European Series leaders Lanfranco Cirillo and tactician Michele Paoletti on Fantastica, Luca Lalli and tactician Lorenzo Bressani on B.LinSailing.com and Carlo Alberini and tactician Gabriele Benussi on Calvi Network all in attendance. Adding true international flair to the regatta is 2010 Miami Grand Prix Champion Jean Francois Cruette on Teasing Machine. Cruette, a veteran Melges sailor, held off the likes of 23 high-powered teams to win, stating that his Corinthian Melges 24 World Champion accomplishments have served him well in the Melges 32, ultimately making him stronger and certainly far more focused about racing.
From the USA, reigning 2010 Key West Race Week Champion John Kilroy on his legendary Samba Pa Ti is in attendance with Stu Bannatyne on tactics, as is Joe Woods with tactician Paul Goodison on Red. Goodison joined the team last December at the 2009 Gold Cup in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and they have been getting stronger and stronger since. His second place finish behind Kilroy in Key West brought great reward, as he currently leads the 2010 USA Sailing Series points standing.
Aside from this very deep and talented fleet are a whirlwind of rich festivities supported by European Championship title sponsor Audi. Melges Europe will present a beer party on Wednesday, May 12. Thursday’s racing will be followed by a surprise dock party. On Friday, May 14, owner Roberto Pardini and his Melges 32 Janas team will host a dock party at Yacht Club Cagliari, followed by an after-dinner Mojito party at Cafe degli Spiriti. The dock parties continue over to Saturday ahead of a special European dinner buffet party for all the teams. On Sunday, May 16, after the final race has completed, an awards ceremony and buffet will be held.
Full Entry List
1.) John Kilroy/Stu Bannatyne, Samba Pa Ti
2.) Luca Lalli/Lorenzo Bressani, B.Linsailing.com
3.) Martin Knetig/Martin Trcka, Black Mamba
4.) Joe Woods/Paul Goodison, Red
5.) Filippo Pacinotti/Freddy Loof, Brontolo
6.) Lanfranco Cirillo/Michelle Paoletti, Fantastica
7.) Mauro Mocchegiani/Matteo Ivaldi, Rush Diletta
8.) Carlo Alberini/Gabriele Benussi, Calvi Network
9.) Francesco Martino/Alberto Bolzan, Pilot Italia
10.) Wolfgang Stolz/Sten Mohr, Opus One
11.) Edoardo Pavesio/Carlo Fracassoli, Fra Martina
12.) Roberto Pardini/Salvatore Paderi, Janas
13.) Ferdinando Battistella/Sandro Montefusco, Cuervo Y Sobrinos
14.) Peter Rogers/Ruaridh Scott, Highlife
15.) Kees Kaan/Rutger Krijger, ROARK
16.) Andrea Cecchetti/Vasco Vascotto, Bagua
17.) Jean Francois Cruette/Christian Ponthieu, Teasing Machine
Audi Sailing Series