Balestrero Becomes New Regatta Leader at Melges 32 Europeans
Everything changed in Riva Del Garda at the 2016 Melges 32 European Championship, the fourth and final stage of the 2016 Melges 32 Sailing Series. Three more intense races added up again to three individual race winners, exceeded expectations and a new overall regatta leader.
Matteo Balestrero at the helm of Giogi has seized the lead. They are the team to beat, as they appear to be the ones who can best manage the pressure. But, match point circumstances always seem to have a special effect so the final race, Race Ten currently scheduled for Sunday at 12:00 Italian time, will be dramatic.
Richard Goransson's Inga From Sweden is holding firm in second, while Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino slipped to third. The points spread remains tight with so much on the line for these three European-Champion-trophy worthy teams.
The racing today, if anything best demonstrated that the level of competition experienced in the Melges 32 fleet is second to none and that it truly brings something for everyone.
For Balestrero he added a second bullet to his Riva del Garda European Championship collection (Race Seven), which obviously helped him move into the lead position. He, along with Norway's Lasse Petterson on Pippa are the only two competitors thus far to mark this achievement.
Congratulations to Andrea LaCorte on Vitamina for his amazing win in Race Eight. He and his tenacious crew are one of the fleet's most extraordinary and well-traveled. Valentin Zavadnikov's Team Synergy added a little heat of their own to finish second, then brought it full circle with a well-deserved win in Race Nine to close out a sensational day.
The final race also celebrated great performances by Christian Schwoerer on La Pericolosa who grabbed second in Race Nine, followed by Balestrero in third. Corinthian leader Kim Haugaard/Jan Madsen on Challenger got in on the action to finish fourth, Goransson was fifth.
Sunday might as well be Judgement Day. Can Balestrero hold off the intensity of a hard-charging Goransson? Can Goransson overcome and break the second place barrier? Can Onorato wake up to a brand new day on Sunday and re-conquer/regain his current four-point disadvantage to win? So much excitement is yet to come as the International Class gets amped up to crown the next European Champion, as well as the 2016 Sailing Series® Champion overall title too.
MEDIA AND RACING COVERAGE
As with all other Melges 32 events around the world, racing updates will be posted online at the Official Melges 32 Facebook Page. Tune in for the latest racing information, results, video interviews, and photos. Race reports, press releases and photos will be available online each day post racing at melges32.com. ---ph. Marina Semenova
TOP FIVE RESULTS (PRELIMINARY - After Nine Races, One Discard)
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1.) Matteo Balestrero/Andrea Casale, Giogi; 4-2-5--9-1-1-5-3 = 30
2.) Richard Goransson/Vasco Vascotto, Inga From Sweden; -6-3-2-4-3-3-7-5 = 33
3.) Vincenzo Onorato/Cameron Appleton, Mascalzone Latino, 2-3-1-7-5-7-2--7 = 34
4.) Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio/Branko Brcin, G-SPOT; 1-7-7-3-7-8--3-6 = 42
5.) Andrea LaCorte/Carlo Fracassoli, Vitamina; -4-9-5-10-2-6-1-8 = 45