Michele Benamati (ITA) has won the 2010 Gul Topper World Championship after 15 races sailed in stunning conditions on Lake Garda. Giovanni Benamati (ITA) follows in second overall and Edward Jones (GBR) completes the podium.
The final day of the Championships dawned with a low cloud clinging to the mountains. The plan was to start racing one hour earlier than the rest of the week with a view to getting the final three races completed. Sailors arriving at the club were keeping a close eye on the weather in the hope that the wind would come in today.
At 11:15 (local time) a light breeze started to fill in and the committee boat made its way to the race course. This was followed by the signal for sailors to launch as the breeze started picking up. With all the boats on the race course, the Gold fleet started Race 13 at 12:11 followed promptly by the Silver fleet ten minutes later. The breeze strengthened nicely through the race as the sailors headed left up the beats again. The mountains remained stubbornly shrouded in low cloud and mist though and the air temperature for the first time this week felt a little chillier. As the first race of the day concluded the wind eased a little. Leaders for Gold fleet for Race 13 were Giovanni Benamati (ITA), Finn Lynch (IRL) and Kieran Hill (GBR). The Silver fleet leaders were Finn Murphy (GBR), Sarah Eames (IRL) and Chris Barnes (GBR).
Race 14 started in brightening conditions with the wind easing. Gold fleet were away at 13:14 followed 10 minutes later by Silver fleet. With the sun starting to break through and only the tops of the mountains now in cloud the leading boats in Gold fleet were Kieran Hill (GBR), Silvia Dall'Agnola (ITA) and Edward Jones (GBR). Silver fleet leads were Tom Methven (GBR), Charlotte Hooper (GBR) and Samantha Bonella (GBR).
The sun was now coming through nicely as the final Race 15 got underway at 14:39. The final run was done in conditions that had prevailed all week - glorious sunshine and a lovely breeze. Gold fleet leaders were Finn Lynch (IRL), Giovanni Benamati (ITA) and Edward Jones (GBR). Silver fleet leaders were Samantha Bonella (GBR), James Cunnison (GBR) and Andreas Jung (GER).
After a great week of sailing in almost perfect conditions overall results are for an Italian one-two in the Gold fleet:
1 Michele Benamati (ITA)
2 Giovanni Benamati (ITA)
3 Edward Jones (GBR)
1 Samantha Bonella (GBR)
2 Tom Methven (GBR)
3 James Cunnison (GBR).
As everyone packs up ready for the prize giving and then the long journeys home we would like to say many thanks to our hospitable hosts at Fraglia Vela Malcesine who have run some excellent racing completing the full 15 race programme as well as keeping the parents and supporters well fed on shore. And well done to all of the sailors in what was a week of challenging conditions - we hope that you all enjoyed it.