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24 August 2007, 07:11 am
FAVINI New Melges 24 European Champion
Image of Blu Moon
Blu Moon in action

Rolex Baltic Week 2007
Neustadt, Germany

After crossing the line in the final race of the Rolex Baltic Week the Flavio FAVINI's (ITA) crew of four put their hands high up in the air to celebrate winning the Melges 24 European Championship.
With a third place in the decisive race on Thursday afternoon the Blu Moon took the honours off Neustadt. Owner Franco ROSSINI from Pedrinate, Switzerland and his Italian team with America's Cup helmsman FAVINI won ahead of Airis helmed by Sandro MONTEFUSCO and Lorenzo BRESSANI's Uka Uka (both Italy). Best German was the former Dragon sailor Marcus BRENNECKE from Munich racing Alethea and finishing 19th.

'We tried everything to get rid of Blu Moon, but

FAVINI stuck to us like a magnet right from the beginning,' said Roberto BENAMATI, the tactician on the Airis who scored her third bullet but missed winning the title. 'It would have been great to sail another race, but the breeze built up too late,' complained the the former Star World Champion. But with seven out of 12 scheduled races the Europeans were valid. FAVINI said, 'We were not expecting to be able to win the Europeans having just come back in the class, but I must say that my crew never stopped and they did a great job.'

The 74 participants from 14 nations waited patiently for four hours on the final day for the fog to disappear and a constant sea breeze to fill in. Race officer Walter MIELKE shortened the course after the second beat to ensure a fair race. 'This was a great finish of a great European Championship,' said the president of the German Melges 24 class association, Guenter TZESCHLOCK from Eigeltingen who finished 16th in the amateur's group with Ka Nalu Nui. The Estonian crew of Lenny with skipper Toenu TOENISTE from Tallinn won their Corinthian Trophy in superior fashion.

Manuel CADMUS, president of the organizing Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) Hamburg, thanked the participants for a big effort, a fair competition and a great sailing while the sailors celebrated their winners and runners-up on Tuesday evening in the race village during the Rolex prize giving. Antje EBERT of Rolex Germany presented a precious Rolex Submariner timepiece in steel to ROSSINI of Blu Moon.

A Rolex Submariner timepiece had also been presented to Jim RICHARDSON (USA), owner and helmsman of Barking Mad, who had emerged as the overall winner in the Farr 40 regatta during the Rolex Baltic Week last Sunday before. The Farr 40 teams are already in the Danish capital of Copenhagen where 36 boats will compete in the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship (29 August-1 September). USA and Italy send seven teams each followed by the host country of Denmark (six). The two German Farr 40's Opus One and Struntje light will also take part. The first race of the Pre-Worlds is scheduled for Friday 24 August off Copenhagen.

Andreas Kling (As Amended By ISAF)
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