North Sails NEWS
Story Contributors: Giulio Desiderato
#NSVICTORYLIST: MELGES 20 EUROPEANS
Brontolo Racing Declared European Champions In Malcesine
“Winning the Europeans is a like a cherry on top of a cake,” says Filippo Pacinotti, skipper of the 2019 Melges 20 European champion Brontolo Racing. Along with trimmer Federico Michetti, tactician Manu Weiller, and MVP/ Bowman Andrea Pacinotti (Filippo’s son), Filippo took first place in the 37-boat fleet by seven points.
Racing with his 13-year old son Andrea was a dream come true, Filippo explains. “Being able to share the same passion is truly a gift.” It also added to the regatta’s challenge, because Filippo was concerned that he would be too emotional during the races. “But [trimmer] Federico has known my son Andrea since he was a child, so it helped a lot. He is like an uncle to him.” And the rest of the team was excited by the family connection as well.
“Having Filippo at the helm and his son on the bow,” says tactician Manu Weiller, “it was a very special win for them to share.”
Filippo’s son Andrea started sailing at age nine in the Optimist and is now an active windsurfer in the Techno 293. “We sailed together since he was six,” said Filippo, “but that was only when we were cruising. Never have we raced together until this season on the Melges 20.”
“This has been a perfect season for us,” Fillipo continues. “A joy that has a special flavor because my son Andrea raced for the whole season by my side, and with two champions and special friends like Federico Michetti and Manuel Weiller.”
Melges 20 Expert Giulio Desiderato says he is always excited to sail on Lake Garda. “I always go home with nice memories. This year’s Europeans was challenging, with the Ora in the afternoon being particularly light, and the Peler being stronger in the morning. For Brontolo to win the championship, that’s a big honor. They had incredible scores.” Brontolo Racing scored three bullets and no race worse than a ninth, allowing them to skip the last race and take a victory lap to the dock.
Manu Weiller was elated with the team’s overall result. When asked what the team did particularly well, he talks about the challenges of sailing in a deep Melges 20 fleet. “One of the hardest parts for me as tactician was calling the layline during the first upwind. Once we tacked, it was all about finding the best pressure, and quick. Big gains were made with the right calls, and it was very important to start well.”
When it comes to trusting their sailmaker, Filippo says that North has been key to the Brontolo program. “North’s Melges 20 inventory is efficient and easy to trim.The tips and tricks from class leader Giulio Desiderato were taken in great consideration. From sails to service, I believe the speed we had was a demonstration of a great partnership.”
“From sails to service, I believe the speed we had in Malcesine for the Europeans was a demonstration of a great partnership.”
Giulio Desiderato agrees that all the Melges 20 development work has provided great results: “2017 and 2018 Worlds victory with Pacific Yankee, the 2019 victory with STIG, and now with Brontolo at the Europeans! It shows we at North Sails are always focused on this class, providing our maximum efforts towards the knowledge and technology when it comes to sail design and expertise. The new jib, the Ji-4, designed by experts Giovanni Cassinari, with the help of Michele Melandri and Mike Marshall, has been a concrete upgrade for the performance of our teams.”
For Brontolo, winning the European title completes a path that started when they finished second at the Worlds last year. “I want to dedicate this victory equally to my family and to all those who have raced with Brontolo over the last ten years,” Fillipo explains. “On this foundation, it was possible to build the success achieved at this year’s Europeans. It’s great to say we’ve earned our title now.”
Both the World Champion winning teams and the European winners used Mi-2 mainsail, Ji-4 headsail, V4-2R reacher, and R-2 runner, which are North Sails standard products for the Melges 20.