Saturday, March 11, 2017

Italian J/24 Winter Series Report

J/24s sailing off Italy (Rome, Italy)- The Italian J/24 class continues their winter series across the peninsula from north of Rome down to the heel of the boot east of Sicily.  Many teams are continuing to train harder and harder as the 2017 European J/24 Championship will be held just about in their backyard- on Lake Balaton in Hungary a short drive north of a few hours.

The FIVE FOR FIGHTING Team continues to lead their winter series in Taranto, led by their crew of Thomas De Bellis Vitti, Elia Masi and skipper Andrea Airò.  Thanks to another trio of victories in three races they have consolidated their position as overall leaders after a total of sixteen races with just 13 pts total!  Chasing them in second overall, but with not enough time left in the year to catch them, is JEBEDEE skippered by Luca Gaglione and owned by Nino Soriano- they have 22 pts total.  Sitting in third with 34 pts is DOCTOR J with helmsman-owner Sandro Negro guiding his team around the course.  Rounding out the series top five are Marcello Bellacicca’s MARBEA with 59 pts sitting in fourth place and Ferdinand Capobianco’s LITTLE DEVIL in 5th with 61 pts.  In a fortnight, there are just two weekends left for sailing, so no one is expecting the top five to change very much at the end of the series.

J/24s sailing on Lake Garda, ItalySARDINIA
In the Puntaldia fleet, eleven crews are participating in the beautiful waters off the port of Puntaldia.  Three weekends of racing have now been completed.

According to the Chief of Sardinia’s J/24 fleet, Marco Frulio, “Three races were held with very fickle winds that changed from the north to the west, with gusts that swept the race course.  The race committee, composed of Sandro Ricetto, Pietro Sanna, Karin Paternost, Carlo Puddu and Teodoro Salvatore Corda, were able to conduct three good races.  As a result, it was very difficult for the crews to establish the favored side of the course.  Difficult for everyone, that is, except for VIGEN SURRAU skippered by Aurelio Bini that managed to post a 2-1-1 to rule the day!"

As a result, the current series standings have VIGNE SURRAU in first followed by NORD’ESTE in second, CARLOFORTE in third, BOOMERANG in fourth and STRAIGHT BOTTA in fifth place.

Italian J/24 sailorsROMA/ ANZIO & NETTUNO
This past weekend saw the end of the winter series for the Roman fleet that sails out of Anzio & Nettuno.  The Italian Navy team of LA SUPERBA (skippered by Ignazio Bonanno with crew in Simone Billette, Branciforte Alfredo, Francesco and Vincenzo Picaro) again winning overall.  It was a rough and tumble nine weekend series with many top crews competing.

Taking second overall was the Hungarian crew of JUKE BOXING, comprised of Miklòs Rauschenberger, Balmaz Litkey, Tamas Peter Akos Pecsvaradi, and Tamas Richter.  This team is in serious training mode for the J/24 Europeans in Hungary as well as the Worlds for the following year in Italy.

Third overall in the series was another crew that featured top Hungarian helmsmen or tacticians- PELLE NERO owned by Paul Cecamore from Nettuno YC.  While Farkas Litkey (a Soling World Champion) did not skipper the last weekend, it was Hungarian National J/24 Champion Gabor that guided them onto the podium.

The rest of the top five included PELLE ROZ in fourth place, skippered by Gianni Riccobono, with Sergio Strippoli on tactics.  Fifth place was Peter Max Noons' JULIUS CAESAR.

According to Federico Miccio from JUMPING JACK FLASH, "A weak wind initially delayed by the start by an hour on the last weekend of the series.  But, it still allowed the largest J/24 fleet of Italy to sail two more compelling races, much to the delight of everyone on this final weekend.  We were lucky since it was such a shifty breeze!”

"It was a Sunday characterized by little wind that continued to shift,” explained LA SUPERBA’s skipper Ignazio Bonanno. “Immediately after the first general recall, the Committee raised the black flag. At this point, our strategy was not to win the weekend, but to win the series by keeping our margin of 9 points over JUKE BOXING. We wanted to risk as little as possible against these ferocious competitors! Thank goodness, we got a 3rd and 2nd and we knew we had mathematically won the winter series! We are very satisfied with our performance against such top-notch, world-class competitors.  The Hungarian crews are strong, fast and smart!  Now our goal is to win the first regatta of the Italian J/24 National Circuit to be held at Anzio from March 31 to April 2. The regatta provides the winner the bonus award of being the first qualifier for the 2018 J/24 Worlds in Italy (as host country, Italy is entitled to 24 slots)."

J/34s sailing off Sicily, ItalyCERVIA
MAGICAL FAIRY continued to consolidate their lead in Cervia’s winter series.  With a 1-1-2 for the weekend, the team of owner Viscardo Brusori and helmsman Massimo Frigerio on MAGICAL FAIRY are beginning to walk away from the fleet with a commanding lead.

However, CAPTAIN NEMO that is co-owned by Domenico Brighi and Guido Guadagni rose to 2nd place in the series standings after nine races after posting a 1st in the second race of the day. As a result, third in the series is KERMESSE sailed by Marco Maccaferri, fourth is KISMET sailed by Francesca Focardi Antonelli and fifth is Mauro Martelli.

The Cervia Winter Series championship has three more weekends of racing- the 5th, 18th and 19th of March.

On a beautiful spring day and almost cloudless sky, it took a long time for the wind to build up to 5 kts so that a race could be started for the anxious fleet.  Finally, at 1122 hrs, regatta PRO Alexander Altini fired off the first gun of the day.  The race had a starting line off Scoglietto and the first mark was 1.5nm in the channel of Piombino.  The shifty NW wind made for an exciting first, and only, race.  Despite a thrilling duel to the finish, Enrico Gambelunghe’s BE’BEEF had to settle for a second place.  The PRO Altini tried twice more to get races going, but the fickle winds would not cooperate.

Smiles and good humor were not lacking in the post-race festivities ashore.  Again, the crews were treated to a delicious pasta dish with fish in the headquarters of the Italian Navy League- "The Grigolo”- where President Alexander Schezzini wanted to extend a special “thank you” to the regatta PRO Altini for his valiant efforts to get in good races for the local Elba J/24 fleet.

J24s sailing off Rome, ItalyLAKE GARDA
Sailing off the quaint, beautiful and historic lakeside village of Brenzone, the Lake Garda J/24 fleet saw Louis Gozzo’s JAM declared the Winter Champion on Lake Garda after a “nail-biting” series.

Fifteen crews took part on Lake Garda’s winter J/24 series, hosted by Circolo Nautico Brenzone.  After a total of eight races on the lake, the victory went to Gozzo’s crew thanks to an amazingly consistent series score of 3-1-1-6-2-3-1-5 for just 11 pts net.  However, their win was not an easy one as their arch-nemesis, DEJA VU, won the last race of the series to close to just one point off the overall lead!  Third place went to J-OC owned and skippered by Fabio Apollonio (Fleet Captain of the Garda J/24 fleet).  For more Italian J/24 Class sailing information- Add to Flipboard Magazine.