16 crews from 9 countries are racing in Leg 2 of the Renault skiff.tv 49er Grand Prix in the spectacular surroundings of Lake Garda in northern Italy.
Yesterday was the first of 4 days of racing, the first 2 days are qualification races and then the finals will be held on Saturday and Sunday. With the collaboration of the Fraglia della Vela and the Italian Sailing Federation, the event will have tight racing and good courses.
Hot favourites for the event are Pietro and Gianfranco SIBELLO from Italy, currently ranked sixth in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, and Michael HESTBEK and Dennis ANDERSEN from Denmark, ranked tenth in the world rankings and who just finished second to Morgan LARSON and Adam KOCH (USA) in the first leg in Cannes, France last week.
A new country to 49er sailing is Taiwan. Ben and Tom YANG spent several weeks in Australia learning how to handle these flighty skiffs and notched up some encouraging performances in Cannes in Leg one of the Grand Prix. Initially trailing the fleet by several minutes in the first few races, they closed the gap considerably, often having a tight battle for second last position. By the time the event gets to Leg 5 in the Penghu Islands off Taipei in October, they should be able to give their country a good representation.
Results after the first day's Qualification Races in Leg 2 of the Renault skiff.tv 49er Grand Prix
1 DEN Hestbek/Andersen 8 pts
2 JPN Nakamura/Takaki 14 pts
3 AUS Turnbull/Partridge 14 pts
4 ITA Sibello/Sibello 19 pts
5 FRA Audineau/Christidis 19 pts
6 SUI Walser/Buettner 20 pts
7 JPN Sakama/Kida 29 pts
8 GER Kaemmerle/Friedrich 32 pts
9 AUT Kocholl/Kocholl 33 pts
10 ITA Vacondio/Gabbi 37 pts