Sunday, 19 June 2011
Image © 2011 Guido Trombetta | BPSE.
by Justin Chisholm
Day two of the 2011 Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smerelda in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, offered up breezier conditions than on the opening day, with winds quickly building from around 15 knots to over 20 knots during the day. Three high adrenaline races were sailed, with the sizable waves kicked up by the fresher breezes making for some absolutely electric asymmetric downwind sailing, as well as more than a few spectacular high speed wipe outs. All three races produced a different winner with Joe Woods on GBR 700 Red taking Race 4, Edoardo Lupi on ITA 487 Torpyone winning Race 5, and Jean Francois Cruette on FRA 202 Teasing Machine finally returning to form to bullet Race 6.
The regatta now has a new leader in the form of British owner/driver Woods, although the circumstances which put him there are less than ideal for all concerned. Sitting in second place after the first day, Woods and his British crew were on fire in the first race of the day, leading from the very start and reveling in the breezier conditions to chalk up a comprehensive victory. However Woods’s luck took a dramatic turn for the worse during the pre-start maneuvering for the second race of the day, when he was involved in a dramatic head on collision with fellow countryman Peter Rogers on GBR 121 Highlife.
Red’s mainsheet trimmer David Lenz described the incident. "There was about a minute and a half to go to the start. We had just tacked on to starboard and were preparing to line up for the start. Highlife were on port and tried to go behind us but they didn’t make it and they ended up hitting us pretty much head on. It was like a car crash. I saw it coming at the last moment and braced myself but the impact knocked my sunglasses off my head and clean across the cockpit. One of our guys was catapulted down the hatch and injured his shoulder, the rest of us were pretty shaken up, with a few major bumps and bruises."
The damage to the two boats was extensive, with each suffering major bow damage and, on closer inspection, both were found to have had their keel bolts bent - an indication of the force of the impact. With Rogers immediately accepting full responsibility for the collision, and Woods’ boat being judged to be beyond immediate repair, his appeal for redress was a formality, with the International Jury awarding him average points for the rest of the regatta. Based on a 1,3,5,1 score line prior to the crash, he has been awarded 2.5 points for Races 5 & 6, moving him to the top of the leader board.
Last night’s leader, Filippo Pacinotti on ITA 667 Brontolo, had another solid day today with a pair of third places and a sixth, which sees him now in second place overall, just two points behind Woods. Current Audi Sailing Series leader, John Kilroy on USA 13131 Samba Pa Ti, clearly enjoyed the breezier conditions which prevailed on Day two, turning in a ‘Boat of the Day’ 2,2,2, score line to move up into third place overall, three points back from Pacinotti. Sitting in third after the first day, Lanfranco Cirillo on ITA 212 Fantastica, had a lacklustre day on the water by his own standards, only managing a 10,7,3 score, which drops him to fourth overall. A 9,5,5 scorecard from Alessio Marinelli on ITA 1 Audi Fratelli Giacomel Armonia sees him in fifth overall.
With forecasts suggesting a strong chance of Mistral conditions hitting Porto Cervo overnight, the prospects for any racing taking place on the final day are looking decidedly suspect at best. That said, the majority of sailors enjoying the afternoon sunshine outside the Yacht Club Costa Smerelda after racing seemed more than keen to do some more heavy airs sailing. For sure the Race Committee, under the leadership of Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio, will be focused on completing this regatta with a full complement of races if at all possible.
TOP TEN RESULTS (After 6 Races)
1.) Joe Woods/Paul Goodison, Red; 1-3-5-1-2.5-2.5 = 10
2.) Filippo Pacinotti/Daniele Cassinari, Brontolo; 2-2-2-3-3-6 = 12
3.) John Kilroy/Nathan Wilmot, Samba Pa Ti; 4-5-8-2-2-2 = 15
4.) Lanfranco Cirillo/Michele Paoletti, Fantastica; 3-6-6-10-7-3 = 25
5.) Alessio Marinelli/Riccardo Simoneschi, Audi Fratelli Giacomel Armonia; 6-17-4-9-5-5 = 29
6.) Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, Torpyone; 7-8-126-1-15 = 34
7.) Antonello Morina/Paolo Cian, Sei Tu 32; 17-1-10-11-11-7 = 40
8.) Pieter Taselaar/Jeremy Wilmot, Bliksem; 5-15-9-12-9-8 = 43
9.) Mauro Mocchegiani/Matteo Ivaldi, Rush Diletta; 11-4-1-16-12-20/DNF = 44
10.) Jean Francois Cruette/Stephane Christidis, Teasing Machine; 16-13-17-5-10-1 = 45