©2008 Carlo Borlenghi | B.Plan©2008 Carlo Borlenghi | B.Plan

Claudio Recchi on Lorenzo Santiniís 'Uka Uka Racing' takes the lead on day two of Cala DeíMedici - Rosignano

12 July 2008

Day two of the Cala De'Medici – Rosignano edition of the 2008 Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series produced three exciting races sailed in bright sunshine, ten to twelve knots of breeze and a short chop. It is an indication of the tightness of the racing that there was a different winner for each of today's races.

At the start of the first race only one boat was called back - Mauro Mocchegiani's Rush Diletta. Michael Illbruck's Pinta started on port at the committee boat end of the line, but quickly tacked back on to starboard, as the rest of the fleet headed out to the left. Claudio Recchi at the helm of Lorenzo Santini's Uka Uka Racing, started nearest to the pin and managed to get bow forward enough to tack and cross the pack about a quarter of the way up the beat. Luigi Amedeo Melegari steering Matrix also made good progress up the middle of the beat and by the time the boats were halfway to the windward mark Matrix and Uka Uka Racing were fighting for the lead. Despite the best efforts of Uka Uka Racing to protect the left hand side, Matrix managed to edge ahead rounding the windward mark less than a boat length ahead of Uka Uka Racing and Massimo and Stefano Leporati's Kismet.

Downwind, whilst Matrix and Uka Uka Racing were involved in a private battle for the lead, Kismet gybed early, hoping for more pressure on the left. When the boats converged at the leeward marks Kismet had made a huge gain, and leapfrogged into first place. At the end of the run Matrix and Uka Uka Racing simultaneously rounded opposite leeward marks. Up the second beat the leaders pushed out to the left but it was the boats that had gone right who made the biggest gains. Cirillo Lanfranco on Fantastica was the biggest mover - coming from fifth up to round the windward mark in the lead. Behind him Ferdinando Battistella helming Hublot Big Bang slotted into second and Kismet managed to get round in third, ahead of Uka Uka Racing. A hoisting error onboard Kismet resulted in them taking a penalty for infringing a leeward boat.

Places were changing so quickly on the second run that it was hard to keep up and several boats that had earlier looked out of contention found their way back into the hunt. There was no change of leader however and Fantastica took the gun followed by yesterday's race winner, Stefano Di Properzio on Mataran. A photo finish between Uka Uka Racing and Savino Formentini's Bitipi went in favour of Uka Uka Racing.

On the first beat of the second race it was a case of 'whoever goes furthest left wins'. Kismet, Uka Uka Racing and Michael Illbruck's Pinta made the best of the leg to round the windward mark in that order. On the first downwind Pinta showed great boatspeed to overtake Uka Uka Racing and close down Kismet. At the leeward marks Kismet and Pinta were tied - rounding the left and right marks respectively. On the second upwind leg the two leaders were engaged in a fierce battle for the lead. Kismet finally got the upper hand when, approaching the mark on the starboard layline, they forced Pinta to duck rather than attempt the leebow tack. Their tussle for supremacy continued unabated for the whole of the second run with Kismet claiming victory by less than ten feet. Behind them Uka Uka Racing took third ahead of Savino Formentini's Bitipi and Francesco Martino's Pilot Italia.

Before the crews or the spectators had even been given a chance to catch their collective breath the fleet was in the sequence for the start of the final race of the day. Pinta had the bit well between their teeth and comfortably led the fleet around the windward mark. In second place, showing excellent pace at only his first Melges 32 regatta was Mauro Mocchegiani at the helm of Rush Diletta. Third was the ever consistent Uka Uka Racing.

When Pinta rounded the leeward mark twenty five seconds ahead of Rush Diletta it looked as if they were going to run up a big lead. However, towards the end of the next beat, they found themselves in their second head to head tussle of the day, as Rush Diletta picked up something on the right to bring them back up to Pinta. As the boats converged near the port layline, Pinta (on starboard) chose to tack in front of Rush Diletta rather than make them duck. A short while later, following a slight left shift, Rush Diletta had managed to claw their way inside Pinta, preventing them from tacking and snatching the lead. Pinta quickly hit back however. Their superior hoist got them into an attacking position and half way down the run they moved past Rush Diletta and into the lead. At the finish Pinta took the win from Rush Diletta in second and Fantastica in third.

With four races sailed, the consistency shown by Claudio Recchi's Uka Uka Racing (3,3,3,5) has given them a two point overall lead from Massimo and Stefano Leporati's Kismet (5,6,1,4) with Stefano Di Properzio's Mataran a further one point behind in third.

This evening the fleet will enjoy a Mojito Party at the Cala De'Medici Marina. Racing continues tomorrow with a likelihood of strong breezes to fully test the teams on the final day of this absorbing regatta.

Carlo Borlenghi | B.Plan has began to generate another stunning collection of the Melges 32. View the photos galleries online now!

DAY 01 | DAY 02

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 during the 2008 Audi Sailing Series.

For more information please contact, please contact Justin Chisholm, Melges Europe Press Officer on mobile at +44 7769 938722, or Skype: justinchis.