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It's Time To Start — Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series Arrives In Portoferraio

25 May 2012

A month ago, Lanfranco Cirillo's Fantastica archived the first leg of the Audi Sailing Series staged in Marina di Loano. But this week, the Melges 32s arrived on Elba Island, where, between Friday and Sunday, the second event of the circuit takes place.

The appointment, sponsored by the city of Portoferraio and organized by Plan-B & Sports Events in collaboration with Melges Europe, the Lega Navale Italiana Portoferraio and the Comitato Circoli Velici Elbani, welcomes the major players of the Class. First on the line is Cirillo's Fantastica with tactician Michele Paoletti, fresh off of his victory of the Italy Finn Cup. Cirillo and his team will have to deal with the aspirations of a large group of enemies, determined to leave no stone unturned while making life difficult to the leader of the ranking.

All eyes are now on Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino with tactician Nathan Wilmot, Audi F.lli Giacomel Fra Martina is strong as usual thanks to the experience of Riccardo Simoneschi and Gabriele Benussi. Filippo Pacinotti's Brontolo HH employs Ross McDonald and Gabrio Zandonà in the cockpit. Edoardo Lupi's Torpyone is now really fit for the high ranking, and Mauro Mocchegiani's Rush Diletta is looking for confirmation after his third place finish in Loano.

But be careful not to underestimate the outsiders, from which one might expect something more than just a winning angle. The "category" consists of Roberto Tomasini Grinover's Robertissima, who will rely on calls by Lorenzo Bressani. Calvi Network helmed by Carlo Alberini, helped by the trio composed by Fonda-Grassi-Bianchi, Bombarda owned by Andrea Pozzi and tactician Flavio Favini, Marc de Antonio's Bribon-Movistar accompanied by Gustavo Martinez Doreste and Hugo Rocha, and Yukihiro Ishida's Yasha Samurai banks of talented Hamish Peppe as tactician can be considered 'in the running'.

Each leg of the Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series consists of a maximum of eight races, with the limit set at no more than three heats per day. The only event that will be an exception is the European Championship in Porto Cervo, where four days of high-powered action will take place with a maximum of ten races.

The Audi Sailing Series is articulated in five acts. Marina di Loano was the first event crowning Cirillo champion. The Melges 32 fleet is now in Portoferraio (24-27 May), then travels to Porto Cervo (June 28-July 1), Malcesine (19-22 July) and lastly Naples (18-21 October).

As usual, Thursday was reserved to four rolling starts and a practice race. The light wind imposed a stop to the fleet.

Owners happily arrived to a new surprise in Portoferraio. Ashore for all the participants, title sponsor Audi offered sailors the opportunity to test drive their latest automotive models — the A1 Sportback, R8 V10, RS3 Sportback and A6 Avant.

Besides Audi, the Audi Sailing Series are supported by the Maison Haute Horlogerie Eberhard & Co, the official timekeeper of the season, and sponsor Musto.

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