Amongst a total of 45 entries of which 24 were Italians competing for their National title, seven UK crews took advantage of an early test on Lake Garda over three days through 25th to 27th June. With more entries from South Africa, Russia, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Ireland and the UAE the event had a true international flavour.
Our hosts in Torbole arranged three races per day with the Ora duly on hand for each day’s racing in circa 30 degree temps, blue skies and the Vista one would expect from Lake Garda (along with the multitude of windsurfers at the bottom of the course).
Day one kicked off with circa 12 knots around the course and wins to Luka Bacci (Phi) and Ian Ainslie x 2 (Team Promximo – ex Spirit of Cape Town). Many experienced mixed results through the day with most having at least one race below par and Luca led by 12 points after day one from four teams equal in 2nd.
Most of the GB teams took advantage of the local establishments on Friday evening along with the Irish and Russian crews also seen in the Pizzerias a short walk from our host club with the following day’s start not scheduled to 1PM one even decided to make the most of the balmy conditions and stay by the lake to watch the sunrise.
Saturday’s conditions were slightly fresher with leaders at various times coming from both sides of the course. Wins on day 2 went to Ian Ainslie, Dave Hudson and Pierlo Nigri with points tightening as worst races were dropped from scores and Gill Race Team now leading by three points from Luca Bacci and Ian Ainslie. At this stage no GB team had won a race despite representation at the head of the fleet being robust whilst Luka Rodda of Team Russia had gone close in race 5 just missing out to Dave Hudson.
Sunday’s racing was brought forward an hour, however the Ora didn’t quite accommodate the fleet with the breeze only just beginning to flow at the first attempt of warning signal. Racing got under way in ten knots building to 15-20 knots during the course of the day. GB teams won races 7 and 8 with Andy Oddie getting a bullet in his pocket, followed by Gill Race Team who then won the penultimate race of the series.
The final race commenced with only Gill Race Team and Team Proximo in contention for the overall while Luca Bacci already had the Italian Championship in the bag. As it turned out the result went down to the wire as Proximo sailed through the fleet to win the final heat having rolled the dice successfully on the final run of the event. The final result saw Gill Race Team win by a single point with the team of Craig Burlton, Adam Heeley and Stephen White aboard missing the presentation in order to make a flight back to the UK and resume ‘normal’ responsibilities.
Cercolo Vela Torbole treated the crews to standard, on continent, hospitality with Peroni and Volvo supporting the event all were well looked after when coming ashore. Our thanks to the club and committee for an excellent event and all the international representatives which made the racing top quality – multiple Olympic games reps, medalists, American’s Cup crew and various class world champions included. No thanks to the striking air traffic controllers and payage staff who made the event less straight forward than it ought to have been!
Video coverage courtesy of Volvo http://www.youtube.com/user/MediavipVolvoCup#g/c/10F6BFF6EE5E97F8