Friday, March 14, 2014

ALPHARD Leads Italian J/24 Sailing Series

J/24s sailing around mark - Taranto, Italy (Taranto, Italy)- Due to its southern European location in the middle of warm Mediterranean waters, Italian J/24 sailors have the ability to sail virtually year-round in relatively benign weather.  Their “winter frostbite series” are often showcases of sunny warm weather with perhaps a sweater thrown over your shoulders to keep you warm for beautiful evenings under the moon & stars at the local piazzetas.

Having said that, weird world weather patterns often upset the “apple cart” and with the fact that “Liferaft Earth” is moving its magnetic North Pole further and further West faster and faster (40nm per year!), “climate change” isn’t an issue, it’s actually happening before our very eyes (  The wonderful, warm Mediterranean Sea has been experiencing “colder winters and warmer summers” like many in the northern hemisphere.  This year was no different.  Spectacularly warm, beautiful days for sailing, while other days were simply nasty, windy and cold- a bit like “hell freezin over”.

J/24 crew sailing off Taranto, ItalyIn Taranto, the next stage of the Winter Series Championship was very much “spring-like” for the fifteen teams that were participating in the weekend’s hard fought races.  "Even if the wind was light early in the day, at about 12 o'clock a light south wind would start building offshore allowing the race committee, chaired by PRO Alberico Albano and assisted by Giuseppe Tortorella, to start the races,” explained J/24 Fleet Captain- Nino Puglia Soriano.  With a relatively short starting line most of the time, the fleet was tight and very aggressive, with many individual recalls and several OCS scores.

The Winter Series are now counting nine races with the next event taking place on March 16th.  So, far the provisional results have Mimmo Bottiglione’s team on ALPHARD leading the series with only 10 pts in 9 races!  Second is EX JDF owned by Angelo Lombardo and helmed by Stephen Mignini with 20 pts.  They’re just one point in front of the third place boat, JEBEDEE skippered by Nino Soriano.  Fourth is DOCTOR J sailed by Sandro Negro and Sandro Montefusco and fifth if AMBER.

This year’s Italian J/24 Class has welcomed aboard the prestigious international sports utility brand LAND ROVER.  They’re thrilled to be part of one of Italy’s leading one-design keelboat brands (the J/24) as it embodies LAND ROVER’s corporate tag-line- “living well leisurely with elegance and style”.  Of note, LAND ROVER Chile also recently sponsored the Chilean J/70 Nationals on Lake Panguipulli in the Andes Mountains!   For more Italian J/24 Class sailing information