It is going to be a day of steady, South-Easterly breeze, blowing around 18-20 knots, that hopefully will allow us to complete three races in this first day of regatta of the event, since in the next day’s wind is expected to decrease and to get trickier,’ declared this morning Anderson Reggio, PRO of the 2016 Melges 24 World Championship currently taking place in Miami.
His forecasts were fully respected: the conditions of today have been challenging for the 74 crews that eventually got in the Oceanic waters in front of the Biscayne Bay, Miami, trying to achieve the best results possible in the first three regattas of a series, composed of a maximum of twelve, to get on top of the World as Melges 24 World Champions.
Leader of the day has been the Irish entry, Conor Clarke’s Embarr IRL829 with Stuart McNay helming (two – one – one), that raced three almost perfect regattas. ‘When you are down sailing for a Championship of such an importance, in general you are so concentrated that you cannot actually say you are enjoying that time, but today it has been a whole different story: those of today has been some of the most amusing races of the last times. We are not a crew that performs drastically better in hard rather than light wind conditions, but the big waves of today, together with the stable breeze helped creating a wonderful mood onboard: we are exhilarated by today’s events!’ declared the leader of the provisory ranking, Conor Clarke, once back to the dock.
The success of today doesn’t drag the attention of his team from the upcoming days, where nine more races are still supposed to be raced: ‘With nine races to go the road to the podium is still very long: we are happy for today, but the core of the Championship will be in the next days. Weather conditions are also expected to change: anything can happen.
Second in the ranking, after the races of today, is Air Force 1 USA820 (one – two – two) helmed by the Olympic athlete in Rio 2016 Bora Gulari and where Jonathan McKee is calling tactics: ‘We couldn’t have asked for a better start: these are what I call the ‘perfect Miami conditions’, with good weather and enough wind to sail fast downwind, but not too much’ stated McKee, adding then: ‘The fleet is one of the most competitive one design in which I’ve been in the last years. We have Olympians in many crews, included Embarr that has two US Sailing Team 470 sailors onboard and for which we’ve been chasing all through the races of today.
The brand new boat of Gian Luca Perego, Maidollis 3 ITA822 (three – five – three), back in the water with the historical couple Fracassoli-Fonda that won the Melges 24 Worlds of 2012, obtained the third place today: ‘We are amazed by the boat,’ – declared helmsman Carlo Fracassoli – ‘It’s extremely fast and reacts very well and quickly.
While sailing, today, we were noticing that we were fighting in the top three, while the rest of the fleet was being left behind, also with a good gap. It was a great day for us, even if the conditions were demanding, but the calls that Enrico ‘Chicco’ Fonda did as tactician always put us in the right position. Tomorrow we will have similar conditions to those of today, but we’ll really have the possibility to understand how the Championship will develop when weather will change and wind will go down.
The Corinthian division suffered in some way from today’s challenging waves and demanding conditions, in such a way that the first of this group only managed to reach the sixteenth place in the overall ranking: Tonu Toniste, owner of today’s Corinthian best boat, Lenny EST790 (16-17-16), declared that this has been a tough beginning of Championship and that the crew is working to try to get back in synchrony, after not having sailed together for a few months: the Estonian crew has the potentialities to achieve great results and to replicate the success obtained in last year’s Worlds in Middlefart.
In the overall ranking, the Corinthian crews, starting from sixteenth place, are all close one to the other. Next days will definitely bring about major changes in the ranking, both overall and Corinthian.
Tomorrow, conditions should be similar to those of today, with the Race Committee planning to run three races, starting from 10:30am.
by Melges 24