2009 Fabrizio Prandini2009 Fabrizio Prandini

Uka Uka Racing Wins The Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series 2009

21 April 2009


As released by B-Plan - Only one race was completed on the final day of the 2009 Melges 32 AUDI Sailing Series in Malcesine today. Despite the best efforts of an experienced race team the wind on Lake Garda refused to cooperate and after the fleet scraped through the first race of the day when the breeze shut off almost totally for a while on the left hand side of the racecourse, the next race had to be abandoned on the first downwind leg. With no further time to start another race before the 14.30 regatta cut off the RC were obliged to call it a day and send the fleet ashore.

Alessio Marinelli at the helm of Uka Uka Racing used the confusing conditions of the first race to make a comeback to fourth place behind race winner Luigi Melegari on Matrix, Lanfranco Cirillo on Fantasticaaa in second and Francesco Martino on Pilot Italia. With their main challenger Carlo Alberini on Calvi Network languishing in eighteenth place, Marinelli's fourth was enough to extend theri lead at the top of the table to twelve points.

When the final race was abandoned Alberini was leading comfortably but ultimately were happy to settle for second overall in only their second season in the Melges 32 class. Alberini, a convert from the Farr 40's has been heaping praise on the skills of his tactician Gabriele Benussi who is rapidly building himself a reputation as one of the hottest young tactical wizards in Europe right now. Benussi who called tactics for 2008 Audi sailing Series winner Claudio Recchi last year, said that the Calvi Network team were happy with their podium position in this regatta. "When we were leading the last race we thought there was a chance but we were not surprised that the race was stopped. When the wind is inconsistent on this lake it is very difficult to have fair racing in fast boats like the Melges 32."

For newcomer Alessio Marinelli at the helm of the winning Uka Uka Racing this is a dream start to his Melges 32 career. Like anyone hoping for success in this fleet he had assembled a good team around him, including Melges 24 World Champion helm Lorenzo Bressani as tacticain and some of the crew were part of the 2008 series winning team on Uka Uka Racing with Claudio Recchi.

1- UKA UKA RACING (Santini / Marinelli – Bressani) 4,3,4,3,(10),1,4:pt.19

2-CALVI NETWORK (Alberini – G.Benussi)1,2,1,10,4,13,(18):pt.31

3-PILOT ITALIA (Martino-Paoletti)6,1,3,(19)7,14,3:pt.34

4-TEAM BARBARIANS – GBR (Simpson-Lee)10,5,6,4,6,3,(13):pt.34

5-BAGUA (Cecchetti-Vascotto)7,(19),5,5,2,12,5:pt.36

6-RED – GBR (Woods-Lenz)2,7,8,(18),15,2,8:pt.42

7-RUSH DILETTA (Mocchegiani-D'Alì)13,4,2,16,3,4,(17):pt.42

8-TEAM 93 (Recchi-J.McKee)5,8,11,2,8,8,(14)

9-MATRIX CORTINA D'AMPEZZO (Melegari-M.Ivaldi)3,(14),12,9,11,10,1:pt.46

10-FANTASTICAA (Cirillo-N.Celon)11,9,9,7,13,(17),2:pt.51