SB20 Grand Slam at Malcesine, Lake Garda
The second event of the SB20 Grand Slam circuit took place between 24th and 26th May at the beautiful location of Malcesine, Lake Garda. This small town is approx 5km south of the better known sailing centres of Torbole and Riva, but has excellent facilities. Malcesine is a lovely historical waterside town and enjoys the same stunning views and weather conditions; an absolute “top spot” for the SB20 Class.
25 competitors from the UK, Russia, France and Germany joined the Italian fleet for 3 days of racing. Europe has not enjoyed the best of starts to its summer season, and while we rigged up in warm sunshine, the forecast was not looking promising for the classic sunny and windy conditions that we have all enjoyed at Garda over the years. The evening before racing began delivered a huge thunderstorm accompanied by an impressive lightening show which illuminated the fabulous mountains!
The rain had cleared by morning, but it had been snowing on the top of the mountains surrounding the lake; it was a great sight! The fleet launched in a windy, cold northerly breeze of 22kts. The pressure steadily decreased through the day to 8 knots by the end of the third race. John Pollard set the tone with consistent starts, and very solid decision making to record a 2,1,2 despite throwing away an impressive lead in race 1 by missing out the last mark and crossing the finish line to silence. Pollard realised his error and returned to the leeward mark to finish correctly. Alexey Murashkin’s M Team, the winners of the SB20 Grand Slam in Hyeres gratefully took the first race, and Jerry Hill’s Sportsboatworld.com took race 3.
The fleet enjoyed a complimentary dinner at the Speck Stube restaurant, excellent BBQ’d chicken pork and ribs which coupled with a few glasses of the local wine was much appreciated.
Day 2 was sunnier and lighter but still cool as the southerly Ora breeze fought to establish itself. After a short delay 3 more races were held and again Pollard’s team put in a strong performance, winning the first 2 races and taking the shortened 3rd race where in a declining breeze Hill’s team and Nicolo Bianchi’s Coldline team in a comfortable 1,2 only 100 yards from the finish fell into a hole and watched a large group of boats sail past.
The final day saw warm weather and classic “Lake Garda” conditions; smiles all round as the fleet sailed 3 races in warm sunshine and 15-20 kts of breeze. Pollard’s team had a healthy lead and sailed conservatively to wrap up the series with a race to spare. Bianchi and Hill’s teams were the consistent performers of the day notching up 4,2,1 and 5,1,2 respectively, the other race winner being Luca Domenici, the local Melges 20 star.
The fleet will regroup for the third and final event of the SB20 Grand Slam circuit 2013 at Cowes, UK for the first 4 days of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Windward leewards will be replaced by 2 round the cans courses per day with all the tidal and wind vagaries the Solent can throw at you! The fleet will all be based at UKSA and we have a lively social program in store; it promises to be a great event.
1. John Pollard, Xcelent 15pts
2. Pietro Negri, Coldline Racing 23pts
3. Alexey Murashkin, M Team, 35 pts
4. Luca Domenici, Notaro Team, 52 pts
5. Jerry Hill, Sportsboatworld.com, 55pts
Release written by: Jerry Hill