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25 September 2009, 11:55 am
Italians Lead At Audi Melges 32 Worlds
Italian leaders Team 93 of Claudio Recchi
Italian leaders Team 93 of Claudio Recchi

Audi Melges 32 World Championship 2009
Porto Cervo, Italy

Claudio Recchi's Italian Team 93 remains in first place overall with three races having been run in the Audi Melges 32 World Championsip 2009, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.
Pieter Taselaar's (USA) Bliksem took a bullet in today's only race and climbed from yesterday's third place to sit in second place overall ahead of Stefano di Properzio's Mataran (ITA). Red (GBR), owned by James Woods, slipped from second overall to fourth after taking sixth place in today's race. Recchi, who is one of the most experienced Melges 32 owners, also has aboard with him former Melges 24 World Champion Federico Michetti (ITA) and American two-time Olympic medallist (1984 gold in the FD, 2000 bronze in the 49er) Jonathan McKee (USA). Victory, however, is by no means assured to any of the current leaders, since there are three more days of racing to go and a possible seven more races to be held with a discard coming into play after race six.

The start of racing today was delayed as the Race Committee headed to the regatta course to see whether this morning's rain storm would pass over Porto Cervo and allow the games to commence. After recording winds of 15-17 knots accompanied by widely spaced swells coming in from the southeast and wind-driven waves coming in from the northeast, the Committee, headed by Principal Race Officer Peter "Luigi" Reggio deemed that racing would be challenging but secure, and the first warning signal was given at 12:30.

"It was blowing at around 18 knots at the start; the seas were a bit messy but the conditions were not a problem for this class," said Reggio on his return to Porto Cervo Marina. "As the race went on, the wind picked up to 25-26 knots and the seas were building. This is an owner-driver class and these conditions are tiring, and we decided that for the safety of all, it was better to send the fleet home. We still have three more days of racing left."

The windward-leeward course set today was again approximately 7 nautical miles and it was Taselaar, with Australian brothers Jeremy Wilmot (tactician) and Nathan Wilmot (the 470 men's 2008 Olympic gold medallist and three-time World Champion) on board, who led the fleet across the finish line ahead of Team 93 and Mataran. Francesco Martino's Pilot Italia (ITA) took fourth place ahead of Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino (ITA).

Racing is scheduled to continue on Friday 25 September, at 12:00 with a maximum of three races to be held on each race day. According to the forecast, conditions should improve tomorrow with light rain in the morning giving way to sunshine and northerly winds of approximately 14-18 knots.

Results - click here

Barby MacGowan
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