Mind the gap leads wins orc Sportboat European Championship
Italian team dominates a fleet of 40 boats from 6 countries
Crowded podium of new ORC Sportboat champions - photos Fabio Taccola
Chioggia, Italy - With today's final two inshore races completed in light air and among approaching rain and storms, Andrea Cavagnis and his all-Italian team on the FAT 26 Mind the Gap still managed to overcome the unstable weather to claim overall victory in the 2016 edition of the ORC Sportboat European Championship. Hosted by Portodimare and sanctioned by the Offshore Racing Congress, this event featured four days of racing in winds that varied from light to moderate, and in 8 windward-leeward courses and one 22-mile coastal race, the Mind the Gap team dominated the fleet of 40 boats from six countries, winning every race but one.
Mind the Gap's crew work was flawless throughout the championship
Local-based pro sailor Enrico Zennaro was tactician on Mind the Gap, and said "This will be a memorable championship for both the city of Chioggia and for all the sailors who participated. For us it will also be unforgettable because winning with so much margin does not happen every day, especially against such an excellent level of opponents. Our crew proved flawless throughout the week and the choices that we made with the new sails and the preparation of the boat proved to be a winning choice."
"We are very pleased with our second place," said Alberto Leghissa on Ezio Guarnieri's Delta 84 Chardonnay, a past champion from the 2005 Sportboat Championship. "We want to thank the excellent race committee who made nine good races in four days and correctly shortened the course on the last race. We have faced many champion sailors this week and many were young and talented and all were technically prepared. We are also satisfied because we made a few changes to the boat. We will aso remember a factastic dinner in the fish market and all the hospitality we enjoyed while here in Chioggia."
Delta 84 Chardonnay powers upwind
The SB20 Flexlogik in mark rounding action
The final place on the podium was taken by Vincenzo Graciotti's SB20 Flexlogik, who had a rough start to the regatta on the first day, but recovered well and was among the top finishers most of the week, and only one point behind Chardonnay in the Silver medal position.
A young team on Arkonoe won the all-amateur Corinthian Trophy
The top Corinthian finisher in the fleet was 8th placed Arkonoe, a Melges 24 skippered by Sergio Caramel. "Apart from today where we had to take an OCS, we have always raced well this week," said Caramel. "It 's our most important achievement to date because the oldest crew on board is 21 years old."
"This class is a fleet with huge potential, on which we must work with our ORC member associations and boat owners to build a stronger and stronger class," said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC. "Already we have technical discussions underway on re-defining the Sportboat class to make it more relevant for the modern sportboat fleet of new designs. This is a priority for ORC development, so we call on feedback and support to help us build a strong class in order to have more exciting Sportboat class events in the future."
Since 1969, ORC has provided the most scientific and transparent VPP-based rating system in the world, used to create fair racing among a broad variety of boat types. Over 10,000 ORC certificates were issued by 39 rating offices around the world in 2015, and ORC organizes the annual ORC World Championship, an inshore and offshore event sanctioned by World Sailing, the international governing body of the sport of sailing
For more information on the 2016 ORC Sportboat European Championship, visit the event website at www.orcsportboateuropeans2016.com.
For more information on ORC and its rules, classes and events, visit www.orc.org.