Thursday, December 26, 2013

Italian J/24 Team Sailing Puerto Vallarta

YCBG Sailing Team Launches Training for 2014 North Americans
(Bergamo, Italy)- The year 2014 promises to be an epic one for J/24 championship racing in Mexico.  Sailing in the spectacular waters of Bahia de Banderas off Puerto Vallarta, the Mexican J/24 class will be hosting the famous “La Copa Mexico” (a week-long extravaganza of over-the-top parties and some sailing and sun-tanning mixed in for good measure) as well as the North Americans- held March 15th to 22nd.  The YCBG (YC Bergamo) Italian team give us an update on their planning and progress to date, as described by YCBG President John Fields.

"Our crew will be formed by the helmsman Fabrizio Eusebio, Mr. Fasoli, Parimbelli Marzio, Puntel Daniela and me (John). If you want, you can follow us on our website.

J/24 sailing upwind in big waves off Puerto Vallarta, MexicoIn 2012, La Copa Mexico was hosted by the Mexican J/24 Class with support from the Mexican Navy.  Fifty-five teams from ten countries participated along with notable J/24 champions like Mauricio Santacruz from Brazil; Tim Healy, Mike Ingham and Chris Snow from the USA; Ken Porter, Javier Velasquez Robinson, Jorge Castillo Martinez, and Peter Wiegandt from Mexico; Vernon Robert from Chile; Jan-Marc Ulrich from Germany; Jan Isley from Monaco; and Victor Maldonado Anso from France.  Sailing in that same regatta was our YCBG Sailing Team (formed by the helmsman Marzio Parimbelli, Paul Luisetti, Fabrizio Eusebio, Fausto Gandolfi and myself- John Fields).  After very careful preparation, attention to detail and training we were determined to improve on our 35th place in the 2010 event.  In fact, we ended up sailing much better, taking a splendid 13th overall, first all amateur crew!

It was a great honor for the YCBG Sailing Team to have represented the Italian J/24 sailors and our fleet.  The event began with a surprise at the time of taking over our assigned boat- “Que Si”. But, since the boat assigned (by drawing from a hat) to Mauricio Santa Cruz was his former BRUSCHETTA (now called DIGGER), we were given the option to use QUE SI or DIGGER.  Naturally, we chose DIGGER since we knew it was a great boat!

The next day, after the skipper briefing, we had a practice race in 18-20 kts and we were very competitive, sailing in the top ten and not finishing the race since we were superstitious like many other sailors— bad luck to finish a practice race!

J/24 Copa Mexico logoOn Monday, after the official ceremony with the Governor of the State of Nayarit, we were off to the race and hoping to get as many as ten races in by Friday.  Some of the races were very demanding, with many recalls, black flags.  Some races had little wind and others had 20-25 kts of very gusty and shifty breezes.  It was very challenging with many combinations of waves, current and shifting winds, which led to many good and bad results.  We had a penalty in the second race (40 pts DFZ) but we didn’t lose heart and subsequently after five races were in the top fifteen!  Ultimately, we managed to finish 13th, thanks to much help from many friends like Chris Snow, Peter Saurer, Luis Vazquez Mota and Jorge Castillo Martinez.

For the 2014 Copa Mexico we hope the forecast is for excellent weather conditions (wind and warm weather) and great hospitality thanks to the Marina Riviera Nayarit located at Cruz de Huanacaxtle on the north side Bahia de Banderas.  As the regatta ‘chamber of commerce” message states- “Those who have had the opportunity to take part in the previous editions of Copa Mexico or the 2007 J/24 Worlds are well aware of the beauty of the place, excellent wind conditions and the excellent climate and the presence of the best J/24 sailors in the world. La Copa Mexico has become one of the most important sailing events in the world and we guarantee the 2014 edition will be a memorable one."  We hope so and will be working hard again to represent our Italian J/24 colleagues as best we can!”   For more Italian J/24 sailing information and news on YCBG Team development