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Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series: It’s Time To Start The Season

13 April 2012

Almost twenty Melges 32 will compete in the first act of the Audi Sailing Series 2012, taking place at Marina di Loano between Friday 13th and Sunday 15th April. Organized by BPSE, in collaboration with Melges Europe and Marina di Loano, the event will officially open the 2012 season of the greatest of the sportboat produced by Melges Performance Sailboats. This first act will anticipate the debut of the "mosquitos" Audi Melges 20, who anticipate racing at Marina di Loano for next weekend (21st-22nd April).

A entry list is filled with some of the best Italian and international sailors ensuring the racing will be intense.

It will be an hard job for Fantastica, winner of the Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series 2011, to hit the target again but the owner, Lanfranco Cirillo will do his best thanks to his regular crew, composed of none other than tactician Michele Paoletti, the mainsail trimmer Dede de Luca and Claudio Celon. Cirillo's strongest competition for sure will be Riccardo Simoneschi and Gabriele Benussi – the couple arrived second in 2011 with Alessio Marinelli, and in 2012 on board of Edoardo and Vanni Pavesio’s Fra Martina, Mascalzone Latino helmed by Vincenzo Onorato, who has the Australian Champion Nathan Wilmot at his side, and Edoardo Lupi and Massimo Pessina’s Torpyone with the Slovenian tactician Branko Brcin. Outsiders could be HH Brontolo with Filippo Pacinotti and the two times Olympic medalist Ross MacDonald, Mauro Mocchegiani’s Rush Diletta, became stronger with the entrance of Nello Pavoni in the team, and finally the Spanish Bribon-Movistar helmed by Marc de Antonio, at his second season on Melges 32, who will rely on the experience of the Portuguese tactician Hugo Rocha, an Olympic Bronze Medalist winner at the Atlanta Games in 1996.

On the battlefield for the first time is Bombarda, the new Melges 32 of Andrea Pozzi, who entrusted Flavio Favini and Alessio Razeto the task of doing something spectacular. Last but not least, there is great interest for the official debut in Italy of the Austrian Roberto Tomasini Grinover’s Robertissima, who has the Olympian Star sailor Johann Spitzauer as chief in the cockpit.

Each leg of the Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series will consist of a maximum of eight tests, with the limit set at no more than three rounds per day. The only exception will be the European Championship in Porto Cervo, where the program includes four days "on the water" for a maximum of ten races.

The Audi Sailing Series is articulated in five fractions. In fact, after Marina di Loano, the Melges 32 family will route to Portoferraio (24-27 May), Porto Cervo (June 28-July 1), Malcesine (19-22 July) and Naples (18-21 October).

As usual Thursday has been reserved to four rolling starts and a practice race, won by the President of the Class, Carlo Alberini on Calvi Network.

New surprise ashore for all the participants: the main sponsor Audi give to all sailors the possibility of a driving test on its latest models such as A1 Sportback, R8 V10, RS3 Sportback and A6 Avant.

Besides Audi, the Audi Sailing Series are supported by the Maison Haute Horlogerie Eberhard & Co, official timekeeper of the season, and Musto, involved as a sponsor.

FULL PHOTO GALLERY - STEFANO GATTINI | BPSE
FULL PHOTO GALLERY - FRANCESCA PITACCO