2008 Carlo Borlenghi2008 Carlo Borlenghi

Stefano Leporati's 'Kismet' wins Day 2, Recchi continues to lead Cagliari

28 June 2008

As the Cagliari edition of the Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series 2008 continued today Stefano Leporati's Kismet moved up the leaderboard with an impressive 2,1,1, scoreline to claim third place in the overall standings. Savino Formentini aboard Bitipi closed the gap on overnight leader Uka Uka Racing to only one point by winning the first race and placing fourth and third in the subsequent races.

Conditions were noticeably lighter than the previous day but the temperature was a little higher. Indeed as the fleet arrived at the race area this morning they had to wait for a little while to allow the breeze to materialise at all. When it arrived it was a gentle five to six knot southerly. A further delay, for the first general recall of the series so far, allowed the breeze to build a little more and when the fleet did finally get away the wind was around eight to ten knots.

This fresh pressure came with a left hand shift causing the entire fleet to quickly tack on to port. Earliest to do so was overnight leader Claudio Recchi aboard Uka Uka Racing, who as the beat progressed, managed to get far enough forward of the pack to cross almost everyone when he eventually tacked just under the starboard layline. The breeze went even further left at the end of the leg enabling Armando Giuletti's Hiroshi – Citta di Milano and 'Kismet' to round first and second just ahead of Uka Uka Racing.

On the run the bulk of the fleet gybed early hoping for the extra pressure on the left that had been evident throughout the previous day. Leaders Hiroshi – Citta di Milano were one of the last to gybe. The left of the run proved the place to which enabled Bitipi, who had rounded the windward mark outside the top five, to make a huge gain by gybing early. Coming back from the left on the port layline they crossed everyone by some significant distance. They rounded first, choosing the right hand gate mark. Kismet went round second but at the left hand buoy. Hiroshi – Citta di Milano were next and selected the right hand mark with Uka Uka Racing rounding in fourth and going to the left. By the end of the beat Bitipi still led but Hiroshi – Citta di Milano had clawed back one place to round second in front of Kismet.

Despite a poorly executed early gybe, which resulted in a badly twisted kite which needed to be dropped and re-hoisted, Bitipi recoverd well to hold on to their lead and take the gun. Behind them Kismet went on the offensive in a bid for second place and approaching the port layline line were able to gybe on top of Hiroshi – Citta di Milano and ease their way past. Uka Uka Racing meanwhile had won their downwind battle with Luigi Melegari's Matrix to move up to fourth.

With the discard not in play until after the next race Bitipi now held a two point overall lead over Uka Uka Racing in second and Matrix in third.

In race two Uka Uka Racing were first out of the blocks to lead around the first mark, two boat lengths ahead of Germany's Michael Illbruck aboard Pinta. Overall leader Bitipi had it all to do having rounded the windward mark near the back of the pack. Pinta gybed onto port a little after Uka Uka Racing, managed to work lower and were just able to cross Uka Uka Racing when they eventually gybed back. Meanwhile having rounded fifth Kismet went hard right, found their own private breeze and when the boats converged they were able to cross everyone by about five boat lengths. With the wind fading to around eight knots Kismet made it to the gate first with Pinta eleven seconds behind in second, Uka Uka Racing third and Stefan di Properzio's Mataran in fourth. The leaders headed straight for the left hand layline. Pinta showed impressive boatspeed to close right up on Kismet as they approached the windward mark. Behind them, in an effort to salvage their race Bitipi had worked the right of the beat – a tactic which paid dividends taking them past a pack of boats and into fourth place.

There were no place changes amongst the first four on the final run. Kismet took the gun ahead of Pinta followed by Uka Uka Racing and Bitipi.

A long delay ensued before the next race could get under way as the breeze dropped away and progressively shifted ninety degrees to the left. At the second attempt, the fleet eventually got away in flat seas and a breeze of around six to seven knots.

Kismet took control from the start. Leading around every mark they gave the others a master class in fleet management. After a poor first beat Uka Uka Racing correctly predicted a shift back to the right on the second beat which dug them out of a seemingly certain midfleet result and leapfrogged them into second place. At the finish Kismet won their second race of the day to slide into third place overall. The ever consistent Bitipi finished third in the final race and are now two points ahead of Kismet and only one point adrift of Uka Uka Racing who continue to lead the overall standings.

With only two races left to sail tomorrow the battle for the lead is finely balanced with both Bitipi and Kismet capable of catching Uka Uka Racing.

Tonight after dinner the fleet enjoyed a Mojito Party in a spectacular venue above the city of Cagliari.

FULL RESULTS (After two days, six races)
1.) Uka Uka Racing, Claudio Recchi/Gabriele Benussi; 1, 1, (5), 4, 3, 2 = 11
2.) Bitipi, Savino Formentini/Flavio Grassi; 2,3, 3, 1, (4), 3 = 12
3.) Kismet, Stefano Leporati/Francesco Bruni; 5, 5, (10), 2, 1, 1 = 14
4.) Matrix, Luigi Melegari/Matteo Ivaldi*; 4, 2, 7, 5, (9), 4 = 22
5.) Pinta, Michael Illbruck/Adam Beashel; 3, 8, 6, (10), 2, 5 = 24
6.) Thule, Fausto Rubbini/Lorenzo Bressani; 7, 4, 2, 7, 5, (11) = 25
7.) Hiroshi, Armando Guilietti/Ian Ainslie; (DSQ), 7, 1, 3, 6, 10 = 27
8.) Pilot Italia, Francesco Martino/Michele Paoletti; 8, 6, 4, 9, (11), 7 = 34
9.) Sei Tu 32, Antonello Morina/Salvatore Eulisse; 6, 9, 9, (11), 10, 6 = 40
10.) Mataran, Stefano di Properzio/S. Chevtsov; 10, 10, (11), 6, 7, 8 = 41
11.) Hublot - Big Bang, Ferdinando Battistella/Andrea Racchelli; 9,(11),8,8,8,9 = 42
12.) Lea, Ernesto Faraco/Amaja de Lana; (DNF), (DNF), (DNC), 12, 12, 12 = 62
* 2008 Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series Leader after one event

As results and photos are made available, they will be posted online at the official web site of the International Melges 32 Class Association, www.melges32.com



Melges Europe and the Melges 32 European Class are grateful for the continuing support of their title sponsor Audi and also to Moby Lines for their generous assistance with the transportation of the fleet to Sardinia.

For more information please contact Justin Chisholm, MELGES EUROPE PRESS OFFICER or call +44 776 938722, Skype: justinchis.