An up and down breeze that never trully filled in at any point ensured for close knit racing on the final day of European Melges 24 sailing series in Portorož. Altea's three victories in a row saw the team open an advantage as Lenny (EST) and Audi (ITA) rounded off the podium.
Italy's Altea brought a 7 point lead into the final day and made sure to keep the rivals at bay with two further bullets. »We did two rounds and the conditions could not have been more lenient as we never had more than 6 knots of wind. Winning in such circumstances is reassuring because we expect similar conditions in Balaton, where European Championship will take place in May,« said Andrea Racchelli.
With a seventh and a fifth place, Estonian Lenny lost a substantial lead but still managed keep place second overall. »To finish off second after a six month break is fantastic. Everybody has had a few bad races along the way and this enabled some really close racing, making the event really great,« explained Toniste brothers. The competition of the Corinthian teams were won also by the Lenny.
Audi team (ITA) sailed themselves to the bronze knocking Storm Capital Sail Racing (NOR) out of the podium. »We couldn't have asked for much more in these tricky conditions. The boat is new and we found a few things that could be improved. It was a good training before the Europeans,« said Simoneschi impressed also by the venue: »The Marina in Portoroz has superb facilities and the hosts were very kind to all of us. They made the event simple but efficient. We look forward to come back here the next year.«
The first leg of European sailing series was also valid as Sloveninan national championship, won by Atena. »We've successfully defended the title but we're also thrilled with our eigth place overall. This gives us plenty of motivation for the season ahead,« said Jure Jerkovič, old and new Slovenian number one.
For the European Melges 24 fleet the attentions now turn to European Championship starting on Balaton Lake in May - melges24europeans14.com