Friday, December 23, 2016

Italian J/24 Winter Series Reports

Italian J/24 sailing Mediterranean(Rome, Italy)- The Italian J/24 class continues to enjoy a loyal following in many of the Peninsula’s famous seaports on the Mediterranean.  Fleet activity takes place in Trieste and Cervia on the east coast on the Adriatic; in Taranto on the “heel” of Italy on the south coast; on the west coast are Anzio & Nettuno (Rome), Porto Rotondo (Sardinia), La Maddalena (Sardinia), Portoferraio (Elba), Livorno (Tuscany), Marina di Carrara (Tuscany, famous for marble!), Porto Santo Stefano (Tuscany), Portofino (Genoa); and, finally, in the “Lakes District” in the north are Mandello del Lario (Lake Como and home of Moto Guzzi motorcycles), Lecco (Lake Como), Lago di Caldonazzo (Trento), and Castelletto di Brenzone (Lake Garda). Here are the latest updates in some of those winter series.

Three good races marked the second event of the Winter Championship in Taranto.  The races were well-organized out in the bay by the Ondabuena Academy Sailing Cub; Molo Sant’Eligio assisted them from the local Italian Navy base.

"By the second event, the Winter Championship in Taranto came alive!  Joining the fleet were Massimo Ruggiero’s CANARINO FEROCE and Leonardo Cappelluti’s crew,” commented Nino Soriano, skipper of JEBEDEE. “It was perfect weather conditions, a sunny day with a fresh northeast wind around 11-12 kts.  The regatta PRO was smart and provided the fleet short courses in the shifty winds blowing offshore from the mountains to the north of us.”

After sailing three fairly tight races, it was Thomas De Bellis Vitti’s FIVE FOR FIGHTING J that established an early lead on the fleet and never relinquished their position. As a result, after five races in the Taranto winter series, they are leading by two points over Soriano’s JEBEDEE.  Sitting in third for the series is Marcello Bellacicca’s MARBEA.

J/24s sailing off ItalyPORTOFERRAIO
On the beautiful island of Elba, the J/24 fleet sails out of the historic port of Portoferraio on the northeastern side of the island.  The second event of the Elba Winter Cup was a fun one, a challenge for the crews as the course consisted of a 7.0nm windward-leeward course, sailing out of the Bay and out to a sea-buoy and back into the finish line.  Participants included teams from several historical seaports, including Marciana Marina and Porto Azzuro.

According the organizers, “Despite the light and shifty winds, it was a great show to see the boats sail between Scoglietto and the Gulf offshore, the fleet was visible from the promenade in front of the fortress all day. Simply beautiful! We hope everyone had a wonderful time socializing and enjoying our wonderful wines at Restaurant PIER G!”

Once again, it was Enrico Gambelunghe’s BE-BEEF that led the fleet home after their gorgeous sail.  Marco Cardenti’s STELLA POLARE in second place and Marco Marmeggi’s ZIO CELESTE in third position followed them home.

After the opening round was lost due to the complete absence of wind, the Club Nautico Marina di Carrara in collaboration with the Circolo della Vela Marina di Massa, were really hoping to deliver a nice weekend of racing for the ten J/24 crews that were in attendance.  In the end, the PRO managed to run two windward-leeward races on Saturday in the light northerly winds that had started at 8 kts in the morning and slowly diminished all day.  Sunday was not much better, with just one more race completed.

Race victories were scored by Pietro Diamanti’s JAMAICA (he is the Italian J/24 Class President) and Italian Navy sailor, Vetrugno Carmine, who skippered EUTERPE.

The provisional rankings for the weekend showed that JAMAICA was leading with 4 pts, followed by EUTERPE in 2nd place with 6 pts, Giuseppe Diamanti’s SON OF RABBIT in 3rd position with 8 pts, Roberta Banfo’s TALLY HO in 4th with 9 pts and the young woman skipper, Eugenia De Giacomo, placing 5th skippering TAKE IT EASY.

The Italian Navy Sailing Club (Trieste section) hosted the XII International Christmas J/24 Match Race regatta in Trieste this past weekend.  Teams from nine countries (Italy, Russia, England, Estonia, France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia) participated for a weekend of racing in a Grade 3 World Sailing match race event aboard J/24s.

The President of the Italian Navy Sailing Club Trieste, Pierpaolo Scubini, pulled together a strong team to manage and conduct the event.  The world-class race committee included the Slovenian David Bartol as PRO and the Chief Umpire was the Frenchman Jean-Pierre Cordonnier.  Their teamwork was almost flawless in its execution.  Over 19 flights of races were run in very demanding weather conditions over three days, with two Semi-final round robins and the Finale on Sunday.

The first day of racing on Friday was tough on everyone.  The wind was oscillating between 3 to 5 kts and the wind direction kept changing significantly.  In the end, just two flights were held that day.

Saturday dawned with much better conditions.  With a north to northeast wind at 5 to 10 kts, the PRO managed to “catch up” the entire rotation and rounds for everyone.

Sunday’s sailing ended with a typical “Borino” breeze between 6 and 10 knots, which allowed the event to complete the semifinals and finals.

In the finale match, it was champion Austrian sailor, Christian Binder, that had the boats and the breeze figured out.  Using his skills as a tactician in the extremely competitive RC44 circuit, Binder overcame Frenchman Simon Bertheau to win the overall title.  Third place went to the Italian team of Rocco Attili and fourth position went to the Slovenian Bojan Rajar.

A special feature of this 12th edition of the regatta was that all races were run with the “New” match racing rules that will take effect in 2017.

Pierpaolo Scubini commented, “This was a beautiful event. The competition was outstanding amongst the field of eleven crews from eight European nations. For us, it was great satisfaction to be able to see sailors come from Russia, England and other countries and enjoy the tight combat of match racing in one-design J/24s!”

“We are very happy to be here in Trieste and win this XII International Christmas J/24 Match Race. We have been here before and we knew how difficult it was to race in this regatta.  On Friday, we were lucky to not lose the field, because the light winds were difficult for us to manage.  On Saturday and Sunday, we sailed well and we closed with this victory. I really like Trieste and the club and its volunteers run an amazing event,” exclaimed the winner- the Austrian Christian Binder.  For more Italian J/24 class sailing information