Here are the latest updates on some of the Italian J/24 Class winter series.
TARANTO: Three good races marked the second event of the Winter Championship in Taranto. The races were well-organized out in the bay by the Ondabuena Academy Sailing Cub; Molo Sant’Eligio assisted them from the local Italian Navy base. “By the second event, the Winter Championship in Taranto came alive. Joining the fleet were Massimo Ruggiero’s CANARINO FEROCE and Leonardo Cappelluti’s crew,” commented Nino Soriano, skipper of JEBEDEE. “It was perfect weather conditions, a sunny day with a fresh northeast wind around 11-12 knots. The regatta PRO was smart and provided the fleet short courses in the shifty winds blowing offshore from the mountains to the north of us.” After sailing three fairly tight races, it was Thomas De Bellis Vitti’s FIVE FOR FIGHTING J that established an early lead on the fleet and never relinquished their position. As a result, after five races in the Taranto winter series, they are leading by two points over Soriano’s JEBEDEE. Sitting in third for the series is Marcello Bellacicca’s MARBEA.
PORTOFERRAIO: On the island of Elba, the J/24 fleet sails out of the historic port of Portoferraio on the northeastern side of the island. The second event of the Elba Winter Cup was a challenge for the crews as the course consisted of a 7.0nm windward-leeward course, sailing out of the Bay and out to a sea-buoy and back to the finish line. Participants included teams from several seaports, including Marciana Marina and Porto Azzuro. According the organizers, “Despite the light and shifty winds, it was a great show to see the boats sail between Scoglietto and the Gulf offshore. The fleet was visible from the promenade in front of the fortress all day. Simply beautiful! We hope everyone had a wonderful time socializing and enjoying our wonderful wines at Restaurant PIER G.” Once again, it was Enrico Gambelunghe’s BE-BEEF that led the fleet home. Marco Cardenti’s STELLA POLARE was in second place, and Marco Marmeggi’s ZIO CELESTE in third position.
MARINA DI CARRARA: After the opening round was lost due to the complete absence of wind, the Club Nautico Marina di Carrara (in collaboration with the Circolo della Vela Marina di Massa) were hoping to deliver a nice weekend of racing for the 10 J/24 crews who were in attendance. In the end, the PRO managed to run two windward-leeward races on the first day in the light northerly winds that had started at 8 knots in the morning and slowly diminished all day. Day two was not much better, with just one more race completed. Race victories were scored by Pietro Diamanti’s JAMAICA and Italian Navy sailor, Vetrugno Carmine, who skippered EUTERPE. The provisional rankings for the weekend showed that JAMAICA was leading with 4 points, followed by EUTERPE in second place with 6 points, Giuseppe Diamanti’s SON OF RABBIT in third with 8 points, Roberta Banfo’s TALLY HO in fourth with 9 points and Eugenia De Giacomo placing fifth skippering TAKE IT EASY.
TRIESTE: The Italian Navy Sailing Club (Trieste section) hosted the XII International Christmas J/24 Match Race regatta in Trieste. Teams from nine countries (Italy, Russia, England, Estonia, France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia) participated for a weekend of racing in a Grade 3 World Sailing match race event aboard J/24s. The President of the Italian Navy Sailing Cub Trieste, Pierpaolo Scubini, pulled together a strong team to manage and conduct the event. The world-class race committee included the Slovenian David Bartol as PRO and the Chief Umpire was the Frenchman Jean-Pierre Cordonnier. Their teamwork was almost flawless in its execution. Over 19 flights of races were run in very demanding weather conditions over three days, with two Semi-final round robins and the Finale on Sunday. The first day of racing on Friday was tough on everyone. The wind was oscillating between 3-5 knots, and the wind direction kept changing significantly. In the end, just two flights were held that day. Saturday dawned with much better conditions. With a north to northeast wind at 5-10 knots, the PRO managed to “catch up” the entire rotation and rounds for everyone. Sunday’s sailing ended with breeze between 6-10 knots, which allowed the event to complete the semifinals and finals. In the finale match, it was champion Austrian sailor Christian Binder who had the boats and the breeze figured out. Binder overcame Frenchman Simon Bertheau to win the overall title. Third place went to the Italian team of Rocco Attili, and fourth position went to the Slovenian Bojan Rajar. A special feature of this 12th edition of the regatta was that all races were run with the “new” match racing rules that will take effect in 2017. Pierpaolo Scubini commented, “This was a beautiful event. The competition was outstanding amongst the field of 11 crews from eight European nations. For us, it was great satisfaction to be able to see sailors come from Russia, England and other countries and enjoy the tight combat of match racing in one-design J/24s!” Winner Binder exclaimed, “We are very happy to be here in Trieste and win this XII International Christmas J/24 Match Race. We have been here before, and we knew how difficult it was to race in this regatta. On Friday, we were lucky to not lose the field, because the light winds were difficult for us to manage. On Saturday and Sunday, we sailed well and we closed with this victory. I really like Trieste and the club, and its volunteers run an amazing event.” For more Italian J/24 Class information, visit http://www.j24.it/web/.