J/24 ITALY Winter Series Report

The J/24s in Italy continue to enjoy their annual winter series in the various fleets spread across the peninsula. This past weekend, racing continued in Taranto, Anzio & Nettuno and Portoferraio. Here are their updates. TARANTO: It was a good winter series start for Puglian J/24 sailor Nino Soriano as he returned to racing after a brief absence with his ITA 427 JEBEDEE (co-skippered with Luca Gaglione). At the end of the first day, they shared the lead with the same score (3 points) with Thomas De Bellis Vitti’s ENG 304 FIVE FOR FIGHTING. The racing on Sunday was the first of the eight days scheduled (November 20, December 4 and 18, January 22, February 5 and 19, March 5 and 19, for a total maximum of 24 tests). Eleven J/24 crews are determined to contend for the title. Nino Soriano explained, “In 2016, ITA 304 FIVE FOR FIGHTING, skippered by Thomas De Bellis Vitti, is riding a wave of wins and are hoping to continue that streak in the 2016/2017 winter series. They are a considerable force, have gotten expert training, and have become a more cohesive team with the highly-acclaimed Andrea Airò at the helm and are currently leading. They are being chased hard by ITA 450 MARBEA, owned by Marcello Bellacicca and skippered by Tony Macina with 6 points. Then, not far off the pace is ITA 429 DOCTOR J skippered by Sandro Negro, ITA 301 PICCOLO DIAVOLO sailed by Nando Capobianco, ITA 429 AMBRA skippered by Marc Arata, and ITS 355 BESTIA NERA skippered by Fabio Indovina. The ideal weather conditions for the first day of the winter series in the Mar di Grande was well-organized and managed by the Circolo Velico Ondabuena Academy with assistance from Molo Sant’Eligio. Two beautiful races, lots of adrenaline and fun for the fleet, thanks to the short courses chosen by CVOA PRO.”

PORTOFERRAIO: It was a great start for the second weekend of the Elbe Winter Cup, the offshore sailing championship organized by the Yacht Club Portoferraio. For the first time, three J/24s are participating from the two historic clubs in Elba—Marciana Marina and Porto Azzuro. For the first weekend, there were many new faces, with several young crews arriving in Elba. At the start of the day, the racing was postponed due to the fact it was barely reaching 5 knots of breeze. However, by noon it had risen to 12 knots to produce great racing for the teams. Sailing in the fleet is BE-BEEF skippered by Enrico Gamelunghe; getting the better of ZIO CELESTE sailed by Marco Marmeggi. BE-BEEF is leading the overall standings. After a nice day of racing, the fleet enjoyed their traditional spaghetti dinner at PIER G, accompanied by Elba Bianco Doc La Fazenda, partners of the event. The next event is Sunday, December 4.
ANZIO & NETTUNO: The Anzio & Nettuno J/24 fleet in Rome sailed the third stage of their winter series, competing for the IX Memorial Stefano Pirini Trofeo. The regatta PRO, Mario de Greneti, was able to provide the 23-boat fleet with two excellent races. The day’s wins were taken by ITA 447 PELLE NERA sailed by Paolo Cecamore and by JUKE BOX skippered by the Hungarian Miklos Rauschenberger. Provisional results after the first day or racing (compiled after the first two races) saw JUKE BOX leading with a 2-1 for 3 points with PELLE NERA in second. Third place belonged to ITA 358 ARPIONE sailed by Michele Potenza with a 3-4 for 7 points. They were followed by two teams tied on 10 points each—ITA 333 DAIQUIRI sailed by Fabrizio Sabatini with a 4-6 and ITA 487 AMERICAN PASSAGE with a 5-5. The following day, it was a milder day with nearly calm seas. The steady breeze of 10 knots from the southeast permitted three races to be sailed. With three bullets, Ignazio Bonanno’s ITA 416 LA SUPERBA (with crew of Simone Scontrino, Alfredo Branciforte, Francesco Picaro and Vincenzo Vano) jumped into the overall lead for the regatta. An increasingly determined ITA 447 PELLE NERA, owned by Paolo Cecamore and skippered by the 2014 Soling World Champion Farkas Litkey from Hungary, confirmed their second place position with a record of 1-4-3-4-3 for 11 points net. Leaping into third from sixth place the day before was ITA 428 PELLE ROSSA, skippered by Gianni Riccobono and sailing with tactician Sergio Strippoli, garnering a record of 10-5-2-2-4 for 13 points. In fourth place was ITA 333 DAIQUIRI sailed by Fabrizio Sabatini, and sitting in fifth place was Rome J/24 fleet captain Paolo Rinaldi. The racing in the Gulf of Anzio will continue for the Trofeo Lozzi on December 4 & 18, January 15 & 29, February 12 & 26, and March 12. For more Italian J/24 information, visit http://www.j24.it/web/.

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