North Sails NEWS
Story Contributors: Giulio Desiderato
CLIENTS MAKE A STATEMENT AT MELGES 24 PRE WORLDS
Gearing Up For The Ultimate Showdown In Villasimius
Act four of the 2019 Melges Tour was the last hurrah before the World Championship in Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy. Andrea Pozzi and his team Bombarda have been chomping at the bit in their final preparations before the Worlds which begins October 5th and after spending a week at the worlds venue, they have set the tone for the main event. “Since the very first day of training here in Villasimius, the feeling with the racecourse and the boat has been positive,” said Andrea. Bombarda took the fleet by storm at the pre worlds, scoring three bullets in the first three races, upping the game from the very beginning for the remainder of the fleet.
In conditions of all kinds, Bombarda came out on top in 20-knot gusts, steep waves, and even in the light and lumpy conditions; they couldn’t be beaten. After eight races and one discard, Andrea’s team sat at the top of the leaderboard with six points to spare, ahead of Taki 3.
“Other than having great race results,” said Giulio, “Bombarda had great speed, executed perfect maneuvers and made smart tactical calls which made the difference in their overall result.”
North Sails expert Giulio Desiderato was in Villasimius working with Bombarda for the pre worlds. “The team’s goal for the worlds was to be comfortable and confident with the Villasimius venue. We developed a sense of local knowledge during the days of training and sail testing, which helped build our confidence.”
Andrea has had quite the season, always working to improve on the team’s weak points. “From the very beginning, said Giulio, we felt confident in the windy conditions, so we focused a bit more on our light air techniques.”
“We started our campaign with the long term goal of doing well at the worlds, and we’ve taken small steps each time to get closer to that goal.”
From a coaches perspective, Giulio is very proud of team Bombarda. “They never give up,” he said. “That’s what I love about this team.”
Giulio gives a ton of credit to debriefing with the team after racing. Seeing what is going on from an off-the-boat perspective can be very beneficial when it comes to critiquing each position. “After racing, we watch the video footage and look at the photos together so we can see where changes could be made. We discuss the conditions, boat handling, and they make improvements. For me, as their coach, this is a winning approach.”
“The decision on what sails to use was made before the pre worlds,” he commented. “After the Bacardi Cup in Miami, we were confident with North Sails 3Di. Our goal was to test configurations in all conditions from then until now to get more confident with tuning.”
When asked what he loves so much about racing and coaching the Melges 24, Giulio replied; “I love this boat. From the rib, you can see all the action, too, which makes it hard to watch from the sidelines.” The Melges 24 is a great mix- providing technical upwind legs, fast and fun downwind sprints, and is super sensitive to boat handling. I have a feeling that more owners are coming back because it’s a great time. Andrea and his team are the perfect examples of owners that love being apart of this class.”
Andrea Racchelli’s Altea, a solid contender for the 2019 Worlds, was also at the top of the leaderboard, but suffered a UFD along with two finishes out of the top five, keeping him off the podium. Altea is an absolute contender for the Worlds, and fast-clean sailing will help their average. Kevin Welch’s MiKEY, as well as Bruce Ayers’ Monsoon, and Brian Porter’s Full Throttle are also a likely contender for the title.
The Corinthian division has a fair battle with Tõnu Tõniste’s Lenny, Miles Quinton’s Gill Race Team and Michael Tarabochia’s White Room all in the hunt for a podium spot.
There are 62-boats registered for the worlds, with 15 nations from three continents, which shows how much the class has evolved in numbers over the last 20 years. The Worlds will be a five-day test for all, combining some of the best sailors around the globe in one of the most popular small-boat one design racing platforms. The unique location will make for a real grand finale to the class season circuit.